Wednesday,August 21,2019 15:34 PM

EAC judges want term limit removed

By Farooq Kasule, Ambrose Okai

Added 23rd June 2018 12:13 AM

"I think the treaty must be revised such that we have one mode of retirement."

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"I think the treaty must be revised such that we have one mode of retirement."

PIC: President of East African Court of Justice, Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja listens to reactions from judges during the East African Court of Justice sensitisation workshop at Judicial Training Institute in Nakawa on June 13. (Credit: Juliet Kasirye)
KAMPALA - Term limit in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) should be scrapped off, the president of the regional court Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja said.
According to Ugirashebuja term limit has caused many cases to stall in the court of justice and if their call is not heeded to could lead to a backlog.
“When you have altering judges, it is difficult for you to achieve your goals because cases stall. I think the treaty must be revised such that we have one mode of retirement,” Ugirashebuja.
According to the East African community treaty, judges of the court retire after clocking the age of 70 or completing seven years at the court. The court is currently composed of 11 judges.
“Time has come for the EACJ to get permanent judges to constantly hear and decide cases that are being filed into its registries in big numbers from member countries,” Ugirashebuja noted.
He made the remarks Wednesday while officiating Ugandan judges’ workshop, at the Nakawa based Judicial Training Institute in Kampala.
Notable among the judges who attended the workshop were justices Remmy Kasule, Geoffrey Kiyabwire, Richard Buteera, Christopher Madrama, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Henrietta Wolayo and Jane Kiggundu who also represented the principal judge, Yorakamu Bamwine.
The three day workshop was organised by EACJ to sensitise Ugandan judges, state attorneys and advocates on the role of the regional court in advancement of the EAC integration agenda.
Ugirashebuja noted that they organised the workshop to share a common understanding of the key aspects of the EAC integration law through a methodological lens of shared reflection on complementary approaches to judicial decision making at both national and regional level.
He also called for permanent seat of the court which is currently siting in Arusha, Tanzania for proper management of the cases.
Ugirashebuja told Ugandan judges that EAC integration is of utmost importance to all partner states in the region economically, politically and socially but financial integration is fraught with uncertainties and legal challenges which they must get prepared for.
“Regional integration experience has shown that law plays a vital role because it provides the legal backbone. Therefore, it requires good cooperation between all the partners in rule of law,” he said.
EACJ deputy registrar Geraldine Umugwaneza revealed that ever since they opened sub registries of cases in the member states, a lot of cases have been filed.
EACJ 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’s main role is to interpret the provisions of the East African Community Treaty, so that whatever is done in any partner state is not in violation of the provisions of the treaty.
The court is one of the organs responsible for integrating East Africans in the area of the administration of justice.  



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