East African Court of Justice, Arusha, Tanzania, 21st September 2023: The President of the Court Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera accompanied by the Principal Judge, Hon. Justice Yohane Masara received a delegation from the Court of Justice of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), who visited the Court to learn and share experiences on the functioning of the two Regional Courts.
His Lordship, Justice Kayobera welcomed the delegation to Arusha and to EACJ in particular and informed them that, the role of the Court to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC). He further said that the Court has handled a number of cases on violation of the EAC Treaty and that Partner States respect and implement the decisions of the Court.
Justice Kayobera told the delegation that, EACJ has introduced rotational Court sittings in the EAC Partner State as a way of bringing Justice closer to the people and increasing awareness of the Court to the Public in the region. “We commenced the rotational sessions in the November 2021, in the Republic of Burundi and moved to the Republic of Uganda in 2022 and this year will be held in the Republic of Rwanda” said Kayobera.
The EACJ President also took the opportunity to invite the Judges of the Court of Justice of the West African Economic and Monetary Union to the Court’s 3rd Annual EACJ Judicial Conference which is scheduled to take place in Kigali – Rwanda.
In his remarks, the Judge President of the Court of Justice of WAEMU, Justice Mahawa Semou Diouf commended the work of the EACJ and said the visit provides an opportunity for the two Courts to learn from each other. He proposed that the Two Courts should consider formalizing their cooperation for purposes of improving their performance and hoped that a Cooperation Agreement will soon be signed. He went on to thank the Judge President for the invitation to the Conference and committed to having his Court represented.
Lady Justice Josephine Suzanne Ebah Toure, from the Court of Justice of West African Economic & Monetary Union, made a presentation on the mandate and functioning of their Court where, she highlighted that the Court was established in 1994 with a jurisdiction limited to the Interpretation and Application on the Treaty of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. She further informed the meeting that the WAEMU Court of Justice is a one chamber Court whose decisions are final and that one must first exhaust local remedies before filing a matter before the Court. She said that the Court unlike the EACJ has an Advocate General whose role is to give legal opinions on matters before the Court before the Judges can decide on the matter. Such decisions are not binding. In concluding her presentation, Lady Justice Toure highlighted that the Court of Justice of the WAEMU provides legal aid to the litigants who do not have the capacity to hire lawyers and also has a mechanism to compel a Member State that does not implement the decision of the Court.
The delegation from the Court of Justice of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), also included Justice Sabi Adbourahamane Gayakoye, Justice Jules Chabi Mouka, Advocate General Mr.
Kalifa Bague, Judicial Auditor Mr. Sangone Fall, Deputy Registrar Hamidou Yameogo and Mr. Aboubacar Simpore in charge of protocol.
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. The Court was established in November 2001, its key mandate 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 capitals of the following Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania.
For more information please contact:
East African Court of Justice.