Coming up for hearing: on 18th and 19th November 2021.

Reference filed: on 12th April 2019.

Articles: 4, 6(d), 7(2), 8(1) (c), 27(1), 30(1) and 38(2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).

Rules: 1(2) and 24 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2019.

Subject matter: Alleged violation of the freedom of the press.

The Applicant is a statutory body registered under the laws of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Respondent is the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania sued on behalf of the respective government.

The Applicant avers that, the Political Parties (Amendments) Act, No.1 of 2019 enacted by the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania on 29th January 2019, assented to by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania on 13th February 2019 and gazette in the official government gazette on the 22nd February 2019 is not complaint with the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).

Applicant alleges several provisions of the Act violates the fundamental and operational principles of the Treaty stipulated under Articles 6(d), 7(2) and 8(1) (c) as well as the principles underpinning freedom of the press, which is a cornerstone of the Community’s principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency and good governance.

The Applicant therefore pray for declarations that; this court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter, the challenged sections of the Act violate the Treaty provision, orders against the Respondent to cease the application of the Act and repeal or amend the same to bring it conformity with the fundamental and operational principles codifies in the Treaty and each party bear its costs.

The Respondent argues among other things that, the Political Parties (Amendments) Act No. 1 of 2019 was enacted to provide necessary and reasonable restrictions to monitor the conduct of political parties in accordance with the Constitution of the Untied Republic of Tanzania, 1977 as amended which abide to the Treaty.  Further, the Act was amended to promote political parties’ institutionalism, intra-party democracy, political and financial accountability and ensuring compliance to parties’ constitutions and rules. The Respondent thus prays for declarations that this Court lack jurisdiction to grants the prayers sought, provisions of the Act do not contravene the Treaty and dismissal of the Reference with costs.

This is a document produced by the Registry to assist in understanding forthcoming matters before the Court. It does not bind the Court. For authoritative Decisions, Judgments and general information about the Court please visit

Contact: Registrar, East African Court of Justice, P.O. Box 1096 Arusha, Tanzania Tel: +255 27 2506093 Fax: +255 27 27 2509493 Email: