Case Number REFERENCE NO. 1 OF 2010

The Applicant filed Election Petition No. 25 of 2006 in the High Court of Uganda against Hon. Sam K. Njuba and Electoral Commission of Uganda and lost. The Applicants appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed with costs and thereafter, his second appeal to the Supreme Court of Uganda was also dismissed with costs to the respondents in 2009. Being dissatisfied with the decision of the Supreme Court of Uganda, the Applicant approached the EACJ to register his desire to file a further appeal to the EACJ as an Appellate Court claiming he still had a right of appeal to the EACJ under Articles 6, 7(2), 8(1)(c), 23, 27(1) and 30 of the Treaty. The Applicant sought and interpretation of Articles 5, 6(d), 7(2) and 8(1)(c) of the Treaty so as to determine whether the delay in vesting the EACJ with appellate jurisdiction contravened the doctrines and principles of good governance, adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, social justice and the maintenance of universally acceptable standards of human rights” enshrined in the Treaty.

The Respondents opposed the Reference claiming inter alia that Applicant’s insistence on breaches of Article 6 did not disclose any cause of action and that a right of appeal was presumptuous as the Council had not yet determined the extent of extended jurisdiction of the EACJ.

Date filed
CountriesEast African Community , Uganda
KeywordJurisdiction , Treaty compliance
Treaty ArticleArticle 23 , Article 27 , Article 29 , Article 30 , Article 35 A , Article 6 , Article 67 , Article 7 , Article 8 , Articles of EAC Treaty , Rule 1 , Rule 21 , Rules of Procedure 2010

First Instance Judgment

  1. The delay of the Council of Ministers to operationalise, had a negative effect on good governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights in East Africa and this supports the existence of a cause of action.
  2. Article 27(2) provides for appellate jurisdiction in the future via the mechanism of a protocol, which protocol is yet to be concluded. The appellate jurisdiction under Article 35A had nothing to do with appeals from national courts thus the Treaty does not confer appellate jurisdiction on the EACJ over the decision of the Supreme Court of Uganda.
    1. The holding of endless consultative meetings on the draft protocol over a period of six years without tangible results was counterproductive as it the process did not result in any outcome notwithstanding the acknowledgement by the Sectoral Council that jurisdiction of the EACJ ought to be extended.
    2. The issue of extended jurisdiction of the EACJ did not come as an afterthought, the Court held that both the 1st and 2nd Respondents failed to discharge their respective obligations. Their failure or delay in submitting comments on the draft Protocol to operationalise the extended jurisdiction of the EACJ to the Council of Ministers was an infringement of the Treaty.
    3. Quick action should be taken by the East African Community in order to conclude the protocol to operationalise the extended jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice under Article 27 of the Treaty.
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Date deliveredJune 30, 2011

Appeal Judgment

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