EAC jurists meet over Common Market

Legal experts from the East African Community (EAC) are meeting to refocus their work plans to laws that directly concern the implementation of the Common Market Protocol. The one-week meeting taking place in Kigali, is also discussing how best different laws from partner states can be approximated without necessarily harmonising them. 

Legal experts from the East African Community (EAC) are meeting to refocus their work plans to laws that directly concern the implementation of the Common Market Protocol.

The one-week meeting taking place in Kigali, is also discussing how best different laws from partner states can be approximated without necessarily harmonising them.

“The focus is mainly on commercial laws, we are identifying laws in the commercial field that have a bearing on the common market,” Steven Agaba, an EAC Principal Legal Officer said yesterday in an interview with The New Times.

The meeting, the first of its kind in Kigali, will primarily examine and identify those particular laws and their relevance to the protocol which is set to be signed in Arusha, Tanzania next month.

Harmonisation and approximation of laws are two other issues for consideration at the meeting as experts chart the appropriate strategies of making the laws of partner states similar as required by the treaty on the establishment of the regional bloc.

“We are looking at the laws that could be relevant in implementing this protocol ,and our first part is the company’s law,” adds Christine Mutimura, a Principal State Attorney with the Ministry of Justice.

The common market Protocol is envisaged as one of the tools that will lead to greater regional integration among the five EAC partner states as it will seek to promote factors like free movement of persons and free movement of labour and services.

The signing of the Protocol was due in April this year but was extended to November by the Heads of State to enable finalization of annexes as well as the sections on scope and common tariff policies.

It met a few delays after Tanzania objected to the issue of land ownership, also opposing the use of national identity cards as travel documents within the region.

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