East African Court of Justice, 15 May 2020: The Appellate Division will resume Sessions via Video Conference next week. This follows a decision by the extra Ordinary Plenary for Judges held virtually last month in April which resolved Court to roll out online hearings, delivery of Rulings and Judgments this month after a successful test run. The decision on video conference hearings is based under Rule 132 & 133 of the EACJ Rules of Procedure 2019, on use of technology in Court Proceedings and electronic sharing of documents respectively. To supplement the above provisions, the Court has also issued extra guidelines to be followed by the Parties.
The Appellate Division’s Cause List, a total of 12 matters have been scheduled for hearing and these include 5 Scheduling Conferences, 2 Hearings of the Reference & Application, 1 Hearing of Arbitration, 3 Rulings & 1 Judgment to be delivered.
All the matters will be brought before a bench of their Lordships of the Appellate Division, Honourable Justices: Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja (President), Liboire Nkurunzinza (Vice President), Aaron Ringera, Geoffrey Kiryabwire & Sauda Mjasiri.
Rule 132 & 133 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure provides:
CASE MANAGEMENT AND RECORDING SYSTEM
Rule 132 on Use of Technology provides that: The Court and Parties in every judicial proceeding should as much as is possible use technology to expedite proceedings and make them more efficient and effective. Such technology includes:
- an e-filing system for filing and service of documents electronically;
- digital display devices;
- real time transcript devices;
- video and/or audio conferencing; or
- any other technology approved by the Court.
Rule 133 on electronic exchange of documents provides that:
- Parties may by agreement consider using technology for purposes of information exchange and at trial.
- In preparing a case for trial the parties are specifically encouraged to:-
- exchange electronic versions of documents such as pleadings and statements;
- consider the use of electronic data at trial in accordance with the Court’s requirements;
- serve documents electronically through e-mail, instant messaging applications and any other widely used electronic communication service.
- Where a party serves any pleading or document by electronic means he shall file an affidavit of service explaining the mode of service.
- Parties can on request accede to copies of Court documents in an electronic format.
- At any time during or after Court proceedings, the Court may deliver any decision electronically, by transmitting a copy of the judgment or ruling to the parties through e-mail, instant messaging applications and/or any other widely used electronic communication service.
About the EACJ
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.
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