The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has today officially started work in Kampala, Uganda in rotational sittings within member states that are aimed at making the Court visible across the region.
A panel of five Justices of the Court includes; Principal Judge Yohane Masara from Tanzania, South Sudan’s Deputy Principal Judge, Justice Dr. Charles Nyawello, Justice Charles Nyachae of Kenya, Justice Richard Muhumuza of Rwanda and Uganda’s Justice Richard Wabwire Wejuli.
The first case to be called was that of Francoise Nzambimana, the widow of former Burundi prime minister, Nzambimana Édouard against the attorney general of the Republic of Burundi.
According to the widow’s lawyer, Jet Tumwebaze, this is one of the many cases he is handling where the Burundi government forcefully took over land belonging to private citizens without compensation.
The Court has issued timelines for parties to file the necessary documents and amendments to their claim where need be in preparation for the hearing of the case on November 18, 2022. During today’s session, Counsel Vyizigiro Diomede represented the attorney general of Burundi.
Meanwhile, Counsel Jet Tumwebaze has suggested regular sittings for the East African Court of Justice for timely dispensing of justice.
The EACJ sessions were preceded by the 2nd Annual EACJ Judicial Conference held from 26th to 28th October, 2022 in Kampala. During this session, both First Instance and Appellate Divisions will handle a total of 39 cases.
The Court during its 20th Anniversary celebrations held in November 2021 in Bujumbura, Burundi, launched its annual rotational sittings in the East African Community (EAC) partner states. All cases that will be heard are matters from the partner states.
However, the Court still faces the challenge of lack of awareness within the region hence the introduction of rotational sittings in the partner states.