East African Court of Justice, Arusha, Tanzania, 2nd November 2023: Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera the President of the Court together with all Judges, received a high-level delegation from the Supreme People’s Court of China, led by the Hon. Lady Justice Yang Linping Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President, of the Supreme People’s Court of China. The visit was an opportunity for the Judges of the two Courts to have an in-person exchange on their Courts’ mandate and jurisprudence on environmental protection and biodiversity as well as establish possible areas for collaboration.

His Lordship welcomed the delegation to Arusha and to the EACJ in particular, stating that this was a visit that will go a long way in enhancing the relations between both Courts. He briefed the delegation on the role and mandate of the Court as the judicial arm of the Community in ensuring adherence to the provisions of the Treaty and informed them delegation that the Court has handled a number of cases on the violation of the EAC Treaty with respect to the environment and natural resources degradation. He added that out of seven cases on environmental disputes brought before EACJ, two have been determine and five still pending.

On her part the Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President of the Supreme of China, Hon. Lady Justice Yang Linping, thanked the President, Judges and staff of the Court for a warm welcome. She shared that the Supreme People’s Court of China is interested in learning more about the Court, its mandate, jurisdiction and jurisprudence, particularly on environmental matters. She shared some of the initiatives that have been undertaken by the Supreme People’s Court of China in adjudicating environmental matters, as well as landmark rulings on the subject. Hon. Justice Linping concluded her remarks by inviting both Courts to formalize the cooperation between the two Courts as this will go a long way in enhancing the functioning of both Courts.

The Deputy Registrar of the EACJ, Her Worship Ms. Christine Mutimura, made a presentation on the EACJ Structure, Jurisdiction and Jurisprudence and highlighted the Courts landmark cases on environmental justice particularly Reference No. 9 of 2010 African Network for Animal Welfare v The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania and Reference No. 9 of 2020 Hope for Humanity Africa (HHA) v. The Hon. Minister of Justice of the Republic of South Sudan.

Her Worship shared the following areas of cooperation that the two Courts can explore:

  • Capacity Building programmes for Judges and staff of the EACJ on Environment and Climate Justice.
  • Digitization of Court processes and archives to enhance access to justice.
  • Judicial exchange programmes.
  • Exchange of information between Courts on environmental justice related matters.
  • Legal Researchers programme; and
  • Support to the Annual EACJ Judicial Conference

The Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President, Hon. Lady Justice Yang Linping, welcomed the proposed areas of cooperation and pledged to follow up on formalizing the cooperation.

The Chinese delegation included the Judges of the Supreme Court of China, and other senior staff.

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:

Christine Mutimura

Deputy Registrar,

East African Court of Justice.

Arusha, Tanzania

Tel: 255-27-2162149

Email: cmwekesa@eachq.org