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28.03.2012 Africa

Stiftung Representatives Visit EACJ / Court must have an international capacity to handle regional disputes, says Judge President

By East African Community (EAC)
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, March 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A delegation of 25 Country Representatives of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) offices in Sub- Saharan Africa today paid a courtesy visit to the East African Court of Justice to discuss its achievements, challenges and role as a motor of regional integration in East Africa.

Judge President Hon. Mr. Justice Harold Nsekela, while briefing the delegation emphasized that the Court must have an international capacity in order to handle regional disputes, therefore support is needed to strengthen the Regional Court as more countries apply to join East African Community.

He further highlighted that the Court is seeking authorities to restructure the modalities of its operation due to ad hoc nature of its services and limited jurisdiction which are the main challenges limiting its role in creating uniform jurisprudence in the Community.

Justice Nsekela added that the Court has the jurisdiction to entertain arbitration matters however the rules to guide the Court are being reviewed and will be ready for use next year, hence there will be no reason for taking arbitration matters to external tribunals.

The Judge President added that the Court is a critical institution to promote peace and security in the region and therefore requires confidence and adequate powers to settle Community disputes. He noted that the Protocol on peace and security will soon be ratified as the Community focuses on the Political Federation as well.

He informed his guests that the Court is opening sub registries in all Partner States and that these would be operational by 30 June this year, which would bring the services of the EACJ and justice nearer to east Africans as legal matters requiring the Court's attention won't have to be brought up in Arusha first.

Also to boost the EACJ's performance is a move to make the Judge President and the Principal Judge permanent residents in Arusha where the Court is temporally located, with effect from 1 July this year.

Mr. Frank Spengler, Deputy Head of Department for International Cooperation at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung emphasized the importance of unity in tackling the existing challenges. He pledged KAS' support to overcome prevailing bottlenecks as KAS has “always done to promote the rule of law in Africa and elsewhere in the world”.

He commended the Judge President for the good work of the Court, the existing cooperation and excellent relationship between KAS and EACJ.

The Deputy Registrar Ms Geraldine Umugwaneza accompanied the Judge President to the function.

About Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is a German political foundation. It is a non-profit organization with activities all over the world and contributes to political dialogue and the interaction between different cultures. KAS has been operating in Tanzania since 1964. The key thrust of its work is to promote democracy, good governance and international relations.

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