Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 December 2009

EAC chief justices propose harmonisation of regional legal systems / Delegates recommend domestication of international laws dealing with impunity




EAC chief justices propose harmonisation of regional legal systems / Delegates recommend domestication of international laws dealing with impunity



ARUSHA, Tanzania, December 9, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The two-day annual meeting of the Chief Justices from the EAC Partner States ended yesterday by making several recommendations to the EAC Council of Ministers for consideration with view to strengthening the administration of the judiciary in the region.

Among them include ratification and domestication of relevant international laws dealing with impunity and human abuses and allowing for empowerment of regional and national judicial mechanisms to handle these issues.

The meeting urged the Council of Ministers to consider establishment of a unit within the EAC Secretariat to coordinate the activities of the Chief Justices’ Forum and all issues related to good governance.

The delegates recommended for initiation of studies on the existing legal systems and court structures in the region to enable harmonisation given the divergence in Common Law and Civil Law applied in some Partner States.

Hon. Augustino Ramadhani, Chief Justice of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Forum, said the initiative should be undertaken in collaboration with the EAC Judicial Training Committee.

The participants also agreed to explore ways to create regional judicial training institutions.

The meeting, which was attended by about 50 top judges and judiciary officials from the Partner States, also resolved that the Council of Ministers should take a position on where within the EAC region the archives of the Arusha-based UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) should be hosted. The meeting recognized that the archives will be an important resource for reference in future as EAC builds its own research capacity. The Tribunal is expected to wind up its work in the next two years.

The delegates also appreciated the decision of the Council to institutionalise the EAC Partner States Chief Justices Forum.

The Deputy Secretary General of EAC in charge of Political Federation, Hon. Beatrice Kiraso, said the Forum would help to strengthen the judicial activities in the region and support increased activities of the regional integration, especially those directly related to the fundamental principles of the Community, which include upholding the rule of law, constitutionalism, democracy, anti-corruption and equal opportunities, among others.

She said that the judiciary was key to ensuring enforcement of those principles as a foundation for the EAC Political Federation.

The meeting follows the inaugural session in Kigali, Rwanda, where the Chief Justices recommended for establishment of EAC Forum of Chief Justices. The two-day Nairobi meeting was convened by the EAC Secretariat and will be held at least once a year.

It was also attended by the President and Judges of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), representatives of Transitional Justice Programme based in Cape Town, South Africa , African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). 



East African Community (EAC)


%d bloggers like this: