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A world-class Court dispensing quality justice for a prosperous Community

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To contribute to regional Integration by ensuring adherence to justice, rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms through the interpretation and application of and compliance with the East African Community Law.

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EACJ hosts a 2nd Mock Trial for young Lawyers from East Africa

The Court on 3rd -4th March 2021, hosted a Mock trial (Moot court) for young lawyers from the three East African Member States, these are Republics of Kenya, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania. The Mock Trial was a practical experience after a whole month training of the young lawyers on matters of Public Interest Litigation before the East African Court, which started on 8th February 2021 at MS TCDC in Arusha. The Mock Trial helps the Lawyers to practice and familiarize with the East African Laws and EACJ Rules of procedure.

The moot Court was presided over three Judges representing the three Partner States these are Hon Justice Fauz Twaib retired Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, a Senior Counsel from Uganda and His Worship Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar EACJ representing a Judge from Kenya on the bench. The case that was being argued in the Mock Trial was touching on the issue on movement of goods within East African Member States, where Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the Secretary General of the East African Community were sued before the EACJ on an alleged violation of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocols and the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC, over goods (wines) originating from Jamaica were imported within Uganda allegedly claiming to have been manufactured from Uganda and then later exported to Tanzania through Kenya.

After the hearing of the submissions by the parties on day one 3rd March 2021, the presiding Judges delivered the Ruling on day two on Thursday 4th March and ruled in favor of the East African Law Society the (Applicant) saying that the 3 Member States breached the EAC Common Market Protocol, Customs Union Protocol and EAC Treaty as follows; Kenya detaining the goods at the border and failing to allow the Tanzania Nationals entry was a breach of the free movement of people as entrenched in the EAC Common Market Protocol. Uganda’s failure to collect external tariffs and was condemned for not protecting goods (wines) manufactured within EAC Partner States by allowing the goods allegedly manufactured within Uganda to be exported in Tanzania. The Judges also in their ruling found that the EAC Secretary General failed to observe and ensure that the Protocols and the Treaty provisions were not violated.

According to the CEO of the Centre for Strategic Litigation Mr Deus Valentine expressed his gratitude to the East African Court of Justice for the support to host the Mock Trial which targets young East African Lawyers to get conversant with the Community Laws and EACJ rules of procedure. He said that this is the 2nd Mock Trial and the first that was held in 2020 at MS TCDC Training Institute in Arusha and the program will continue to support the targeted beneficiaries across the EAC region and planning to broaden the program to include young Lawyers from all EAC Partner States.

The Registrar of the Court His Worship Yufnalis Okubo on his part thanked the Centre for Strategic Litigation for utilizing the EACJ to train the Young Lawyers on the Community Laws which will improve their skills and knowledge to enable them competently appear before the regional Court as it has been a challenge to some Lawyers from different EAC Partner States who appear before the Court and are not familiar with EACJ Rules of procedure as well EAC Treaty and the Protocols. He also congratulated the Participants for the excellent job done through this litigation and urged them to continue and utilize the knowledge and skills acquired from the training and the Mock Trial to appear before EACJ.

His Worship also called upon the East African Young Lawyers to make use of the EACJ Sub-Registries in the Partner States Capitals and file their cases that may arise on EAC Treaty and Protocols violation because filing a case at EACJ is free. Registrar also informed the Lawyers that the Court is in the process to be a paperless Court in future where litigants will be able to file their cases from their respective Countries or locations and that these are opportunities to deliver justice to all East Africans. He pledged continued support from the EACJ towards this program for future progress, efficiency and sustainable litigation before it.
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