East African Court of Justice

The Treaty establishes the East African Court of Justice to resolve disputes, deliver advisory opinions or give a determination or a reference. A partner state, the secretary general or an individual can refer the legality of an Act, directive, decision or action by an institution of the Community or partner state to the Court for determination. The Court has the power to interpret the Treaty establishing the EAC.

The Court has original, appellate and human rights jurisdiction. Thus, an applicant need not exhaust local remedies before approaching the Court.

A domestic court has the power to make a ruling over a dispute arising out of the interpretation of the Community’s Treaty. This decision can be taken on appeal before the Court.

The Summit elects the members, which serve a seven-year term, of the Court. The six founding judges took oath on 30 November 2001.

The Court does not have set periods when it holds sessions in a year. The case register and the budget will determine when and for how long it meets. The Court will normally meet to discuss cases on the register and how to proceed. In 2007, the Court met throughout the year for periods of two to three days to consider cases and administrative matters.

EACJ Seat: Arusha, Tanzania

States subject to EACJ jurisdiction: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.