5 October 2013

East Africa: EACJ Launches Court User Guide

press release

East African Court of Justice Nairobi 3 October 2013: The East African Court of Justice officially launched its new user guide during a stakeholders' workshop yesterday in Nairobi at Hotel La Mada which was organized by EACJ in collaboration with Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) of Lundi University, Sweden.

Ms. Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki representing the Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Kenya, Ms. Phyllis J. Kandie, during the opening of the workshop said that, the Republic of Kenya attaches great importance to awareness creation on East African Community and its benefits. She said that as a Ministry, awareness creation on EAC integration process has been identified as one of their core mandates. To this end, "I am truly honored to be associated with sensitization of stakeholders on the role of the East African Court of Justice and the launch of the new Court User Guide in Kenya." Ms. Mwanamaka added.

The Principal Secretary also asserted that this awareness creation is a response to the needs of East Africans in the judicial sector. She noted there were dynamic times where Citizens are litigious and from time to time find themselves in court seeking justice on several areas and hence the need to demystify the EACJ to them and also get the stakeholders on board.

"I appreciate with great humility that the Court has now moved to the next level to engage in valuable discussions with stakeholders like national Courts, members of the Bar, the office of the Directors of Public Prosecution and Attorney Generals' office. This is an amicable way of awareness creation that the national stakeholders should at once take heed of by instituting and referring cases to EACJ. As East Africans we should be proud of our regional Court, build it and propel it to the highest level of judicial standards. I urge the stakeholders to consider nurturing the EACJ and positively grant it the respect and honor it deserves" Ms. Mwanamaka commended.

Mr. Johannes Eile, Head of Raoul Wallenberg Institute's International Programmes Department said that the Institute initiated cooperation with the East African Court of Justice in 2003, when the Court was then in its infancy and over time, a strong relationship was established. He added that the partnership with EACJ was revitalized in 2010 to constitute the basis of long-term cooperation program between the Court and RWI supported by Swedish development cooperation, which started in 2011 running up until the end of 2015.

Mr. Johannes pointed out that, the overall objective of the cooperation is to contribute to improving access to Justice for East African citizens through the services of an effective regional Court. He added that the cooperation focuses on activities to promote EACJ to become increasingly visible in matters related to the discharge of its mandate and to have enhanced ability to incorporate human rights into its judgments and decisions.

The President of the Court, Hon. Mr. Harold R. Nsekela commended the cooperation and understanding by RWI and for their generous support to address the knowledge gap in the existence of the Court through developing The EACJ User Guide as well as other activities to promote and increase awareness of the Court. "We will therefore need the support of all stakeholders to work towards overcoming the major challenges facing the Court especially the limited jurisdiction, the ad-hoc nature of the court's operations, limited resources and inadequate capacity addressing issues of the Court's structure among others" said Justice Nsekela.

The workshop and launch of the EACJ User Guide was attended by EACJ Judges, Chief Justices and Attorneys General of the Partner States, EACJ Registrar, EALA Members Kenya, Chairpersons of the Media Councils, Members of the Bar Associations in the East African region, among others.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. John Ruhangisa Registrar Email:

Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza Deputy Registrar Email:

Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; Tel: +255 784 835021;

Email:

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