Arusha, 13 February 2013: The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice today granted leave to the East African Law Society (EALS) to file additional evidence in the “Walk to Work” case. The evidence would be in documentary and electronic formats.
The Court said there was no credible reason to deny EALS the opportunity in view of Rule 46 (1) of the EACJ Rules of Procedure which is meant to ensure that no evidence is shut out even after the pleadings have closed and to enable the Court to exercise its discretion as necessary.
Further, the Court said, being a Court of First Instance, it would be best to allow parties an opportunity to tender all evidence that they deem relevant to enable it make a fair and informed decision having had an opportunity to examine all possible evidence on the issue placed before it.
Judges Hon. Mr. Justice Johnston Busingye (Principal Judge), Hon. Mr. Justice John Mkwawa, and Hon. Mr. Justice Isaac Lenaola added they saw no prejudice at all if the evidence is admitted as the Respondent would have the opportunity to challenge it and also call fresh evidence to counter it.
The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda however expressed dissatisfaction with the Court’s ruling and said he would appeal.
The subject matter of the case is the alleged actions of the agents of the Government of Uganda on various groups of Ugandan citizens who decided to walk to work in protest against the high cost of fuel, transport and living. The EALS asserts that the action of blocking these protests offended the citizens’ human’s rights under Uganda’s Constitution and the EAC Treaty.
The Attorney General of Uganda and the Secretary General of the East African Community are the Respondents in the case filed by the Regional Bar Association.
Mr .Richard B. O. Onsogo represented EALS, the Applicant, while Mr. Phillip Mwaka, Principal State Attorney represented the Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda and Dr. Anthony Kafumbe represented the EAC Secretary General. and they all appeared before for the Ruling.
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The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or the Court), 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. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
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