Case Number APPEAL NO. 2 OF 2012

The Applicants / Respondents in Reference No 4 of 2011 claim that they were arrested, and forcibly removed from Kenya between 22nd July and 17th September 2010, and handed over to officials of the Government of Uganda who illegally detained them without due process of extradition. They claimed that their impending trial in Uganda was in violation of their fundamental rights, under both the Kenyan and Ugandan Constitutions, International law, and the Treaty establishing the East African Community. Through Application No 4 of 2011, they sought to inter-alia to restrain the Government of Uganda /the Appellant from proceeding with the prosecution.

The Attorney General of Uganda / the Appellant raised a preliminary objection contending that the Reference was filed out of time. On 1st December 2011, the First Instance Division concluded that the Treaty violations complained of in the Reference, were continuous; could not be subjected to mathematical computation of time; and that, therefore, the Reference was properly lodged.

Aggrieved by the decision, the Attorney General of Uganda/Appellant lodged this appeal averring that the Reference No 4 of 2011 was time-barred.

Date filed
CountriesKenya , Uganda
KeywordArrest & Detention , Continuing violation , Human Rights , Limitation of time , Unlawful Detention
Treaty ArticleArticle 23 , Article 30 , Article 35 A , Rule 99 , Rules of Procedure 2010

First Instance Judgment

PDF document
Date deliveredJune 15, 2011

Appeal Judgment

  1. The detention complained of followed a chain of events all of which can be very well located in time. The Applicants also readily admitted to having been aware of the acts complained of, as and when those acts were happening.
  2. The starting date of an act complained of under Article 30 (2) is not the day the act ends, but the day it is first effected. Therefore the two months limitation period under Article 30(2) started to run from the day that the arrest and detention were effected.
  3. There is nothing in the express language of Article 30 (2) that compels any conclusion that continuing violations are to be exempted from the two month limit. Nor does the nature of the particular violation alleged in the instant case demonstrate any intent on the part of the drafters of the Treaty to treat unlawful arrest and rendition as continuous violations for purposes of the time limit of Article 30 (2).
  4. By filing the Reference more than one year after the happening of the events complained of, the cause of action was time-barred for non-compliance with Article 30 (2) of the Treaty.
PDF documentDownload the decision as PDF
Date deliveredApril 15, 2013