Application filed on: 14th November 2018.
Articles: 23, 27, 40 & 127 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).
Rules: 21, 36 and 53 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2013.
Subject matter: Amici curiae.
The Applicants, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a non-profit organisation based in the United States; Unidad de Proteccion a Defensoras y Defensores (Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) a civil non-profit association registered in Guatemala; and Fundacion para La Libertad de Prensa (Foundation for the Freedom of Press) a non-profit entity registered in Colombia jointly seek for Court leave to be joined as amicus curiae in Reference No. 9 of 2018, between the Centre for Strategic Litigation and the Attorney General of the Republic of Tanzania and the Secretary General of the EAC. This is based on their mandate to participate in litigation and advocacy on civil space matters including freedom of expression in Tanzania and the East Africa region in among other things.
Joining the Reference will enable them provide expert insight on relevant international legal standards regarding the right to freedom of expression and the scope permissible restraints. Also assist the Court in assessing the challenged Regulations’ compatibility with the principles enshrined in the EAC Treaty and apply the Treaty in light of established international legal standards. Further assist to complement the Court’s analysis from comparative perspective across regional human rights systems, including Africa and Inter-American tribunals.
The 2nd Respondent, the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania opposes the Application, while the 1st Respondent, Centre for Strategic Litigation ltd and 3rd Respondent, the Secretary General of the EAC filed no response.
The Reference which the Applicants seek leave to be joined challenges Tanzanian’s Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018, published on 16th March 2018. The Regulations are challenged for allegedly placing an unjustified restriction on the freedom of expression, which is a corner stone of the principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency and good governance which the United Republic of Tanzania has committed to abide by, through the EAC Treaty.
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