Young lawyers in a mock trial at EACJ

By Sania Babirye

The East African Court of Justice has hosted a Mock trial (Moot court) for young lawyers from the three East African Member States, which helps the Lawyers to practice and familiarize with the East African Laws and EACJ Rules of procedure.

The Mock Trial helps the Lawyers to practice and familiarize with the East African Laws and EACJ Rules of procedure.

These came from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and were also trained on matters of public interest in Arusha.

The moot Court was presided over by three Judges representing the three Partner States including Justice Fauz Twaib retired Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, a Senior Counsel from Uganda and His Worship Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar EACJ representing a Judge from Kenya on the bench.

The case that was being argued in the Mock Trial was touching on the issue on movement of goods within East African Member States, where Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the Secretary General of the East African Community were sued before the EACJ on an alleged violation of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocols and the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC, over goods (wines) originating from Jamaica were imported within Uganda allegedly claiming to have been manufactured from Uganda and then later exported to Tanzania through Kenya.

After the hearing of the submissions presiding Judges delivered the Ruling in favor of the East African Law Society the (Applicant) saying that the 3 Member States breached the EAC Common Market Protocol, Customs Union Protocol and EAC Treaty as follows; Kenya detaining the goods at the border and failing to allow the Tanzania Nationals entry was a breach of the free movement of people as entrenched in the EAC Common Market Protocol. Uganda’s failure to collect external tariffs and was condemned for not protecting goods (wines) manufactured within EAC Partner States by allowing the goods allegedly manufactured within Uganda to be exported in Tanzania. The Judges also in their ruling found that the EAC Secretary General failed to observe and ensure that the Protocols and the Treaty provisions were not violated.

The Registrar of the Court His Worship Yufnalis Okubo on his part thanked the Center for Strategic Litigation for utilizing the EACJ to train the Young Lawyers on the Community Laws which will improve their skills and knowledge to enable them competently appear before the regional Court as it has been a challenge to some Lawyers from different EAC Partner States who appear before the Court and are not familiar with EACJ Rules of procedure as well EAC Treaty and the Protocols.

His Worship also called upon the East African Young Lawyers to make use of the EACJ Sub-Registries in the Partner States Capitals and file their cases that may arise on EAC Treaty and Protocols violation because filing a case at EACJ is free.