East African Court of Justice Entebbe, 4 June 2017:ThePresident of the Court, Justice Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja commended all the participants for their efforts to ensure the Court’s Strategic plan is developed. He added that, “We are the drivers of the implementation of this strategic plan, and therefore we need to work as a team to deliver timely and quality Justice which is our core responsibility”. His Lordship stated.
Justice Ugirashebuja, also expressed his gratitude to the Judges and Staff for the achievements in the previous Court’s strategic plan 2010/15, among the achievements he mentioned that the Court had a milestone of the President and Principal Judge becoming residents in Arusha, the current seat of the Court. That this tremendously contributed to the improved performance of the Court, due to presence of the leadership of the Court.
The President also added that the establishment of the EACJ Sub-registries in all Partner States was another great achievement for the Court in bringing Justice closer to the East Africans. He said that, sub-registries have enabled litigants file their cases in their respective Countries which is cost cutting and time saving in terms of travelling to Arusha to facilitate the process of filing and hearing of the cases. He further stressed that the presence of the sub-registries in the Partner States have contributed to the visibility of the Court and led to a number cases filed in EACJ.
His Lordship also said that, the extension of the Court’s jurisdiction on matters of trade and investment was a commendable achievement. He added that this will lead to a number of disputes on trade and cross border issues which will be brought to Court for settlement, as the Member States continues the implementation of the EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocols.
Justice Ugirashebuja however stressed some major challenges the Court faces, these include the ad-hoc nature of the services of the Judges. That this leads to delays in disposing off cases because some Judges serve in their National Courts, there is need for the Judges to be permanent at the seat of the Court as the Court continues to be busier.
His Lordship further said that, the Court faces the challenge of limited visibility across the region, due to budget constraints, the Court is un able to carry out sensitization and outreach programs in all Partner States. However, with the new Strategic plan, the Court will focus on holding sessions in the Partner States which will improve the visibility and access of the Court to the EAC citizens and residents.
He finally mentioned that the Court expects a number of new developments, if the Financial autonomy of the Court is assented to by the Heads of State.
His Worship, the Registrar Hon. Yufnalis Okubo also recommended the Staff to work hard towards the implementation of the Strategic plan. He also commended the consultants for their support to come up with this strategic plan which will guide the direction of the Court in the next 5 years. The Consultant team led by Prof. EvansAosa, Dr. Kennedy Ogollah, George Ogari and Muteti (all consultants) from University of Nairobi Enterprise and Services Limited.
The meeting was attended by all Judges and Staff of the Court in Entebbe Resort Beach Hotel, Uganda.
About the EACJ
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.
For more information please contact:
Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar, East African Court of Justice. Tel: 255-27-2162149
East African Court of Justice Arusha, Tanzania http://www.eacj.org