EALS Allowed to File Additional Evidence in “Walk to Work” Case

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.

About the East African Court of Justice

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.

Any person who is resident in an EAC Partner State may refer for determination by the East African Court of Justice, the legality of any Act, directive, decision or action of a Partner State or an Institution of the Community on the grounds that such Act, regulation, directive or action is unlawful or is an infringement of the Treaty and proceedings are instituted within two months of the act complained of or of the day in which it came to his/her knowledge. The Court also has arbitration jurisdiction.

Decisions of the Court on the interpretation and application of the Treaty take precedence over decisions of national courts on a similar matter.

For more information please contact:

Prof. John Ruhangisa, Registrar
Email: ruhangisa@eachq.org

Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza, Deputy Registrar
Email: umugwaneza@eachq.org

Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department;
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs;
EAC Secretariat
Tel: +255 784 835021; Email: othieno@eachq.org

East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania

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