Rwandans have been urged to own and use the arbitration jurisdiction process saying that it is cheaper, faster and “user-friendly.”
Judicial experts of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) noted this yesterday as they started a two-day sensitization workshop aimed at enhancing the utilization of the arbitration jurisdiction of the EACJ in Kigali.
This was largely emphasised by Justice Johnston Busingye, president of the Rwandan high court and Principal Judge at EACJ.
“As we are heading towards the EAC Common Market Protocol, Customs Union, Monetary Union and a Political Federation, a lot of commercial and trade disputes are likely to be generated during the transaction process; therefore application of arbitration jurisdiction process will play a big role in solving those conflicts amicably,” Busingye said.
He added that it has been realized that people in the bloc were not aware of the arbitration process, which is why the sensitization workshops were organised.
“Why should people from the EAC use arbitration courts in London, The Hague and elsewhere when we have our EACJ where the arbitration jurisdiction clause is applied?” he wondered.
Robert Ssali, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for EAC maintained that the court’s arbitration jurisdiction is vital in solving commercial related disputes involving parties in the bloc regarding the treaty submitted to Court under a special agreement.
“We should stand firm and make sure that any clause that deals with arbitration procedure is dealt within the EACJ,” he added.
The forum brought together participants from key government ministries, the prosecution, the business community, judiciary, the media and the bar association.
Similar workshops, planned to conclude on April 27 will be conducted in other EAC capitals after the end of the Kigali session.