East African Court of Justice, 4th – 5th July 2023: The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) had the privilege of co-hosting a Training of Advocates from Uganda on Good Governance and Rule of Law in the East African Community (EAC) in partnership with the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CEPIL) and sponsored by the Ford Foundation. The Training was held in Kampala, Uganda from 4th – 5th July 2023.
The primary objective of the training was to equip participants with comprehensive knowledge and essential skills necessary to apply these principles effectively in their legal practice within the EAC framework. Following the pattern of previous sessions held in Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda, this training placed significant emphasis on providing participants with a thorough understanding of good governance and the Rule of Law within the East African Community (EAC).
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Nobert Mao, presiding over the official launch of the two-day training program, acknowledged CEPIL’s impressive track record in advocating for human rights and the rule of law across the East African region. He commended the selected participants for their inclusion in the training and expressed confidence in their ability to champion the rights enshrined in the EAC Treaty after acquiring the necessary skills. Minister Mao officially launched the training, highlighting the significant role it would play in empowering advocates to enforce these rights effectively.
Hon. Justice Cheborion Barishaki, representing the President of the EACJ, outlined the court’s mandate, which includes ensuring adherence to the law in the interpretation and compliance of the East African Community (EAC) Treaty. He referenced a landmark case, James Katabazi and 21 others Vs Secretary General of the East African Community and Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, where the EACJ interpreted provisions enabling the court to handle human rights related matters. Hon. Justice Barishaki commended CEPIL and the Ford Foundation for organizing the training and urged participants to make the most of this opportunity.
Senior Counsel Francis Gimara, Director Programmes at CEPIL, in his opening remarks, expressed appreciation to the participants for their involvement in the training. He highlighted CEPIL’s core mandate of promoting public interest through the utilization of law as a tool. Mr. Gimara emphasized CEPIL’s partnership with the EACJ and the Ford Foundation as part of their ongoing efforts to equip advocates with skills in good governance and the rule of law, as interpreted and understood by the EACJ.
The training program concluded after two days with a notable Certificate Awarding ceremony, during which the participation and accomplishments of each esteemed participant were acknowledged.
The Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera presided over the closing ceremony, where he said that the ceremony served as a testament to the dedication and hard work displayed by the advocates throughout the program. In his remarks, he also stated that this training initiative marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of strengthening legal expertise and fostering the rule of law in the region and that the participants had been provided with valuable skills and resources that will undoubtedly enhance their effectiveness in representing clients and handling cases involving the EACJ. He also thanked CEPIL for their continued collaboration with the EACJ aimed at ensuring that the Prinicpals of Good Governance and the Rule of Law are upheld in the Community as provided for in the Treaty.
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.
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East African Court of Justice.