The East African Countries Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA) has called for harmonisation of laws across the EAC to handle cross-border issues. The development was disclosed by the President of the Rwandan Judges and Registrars Association, Laurien Gashongore Kadigwa on Wednesday, November 9. In an Interview with The New Times, Kadigwa said that as a community with mostly similar traditions and social life, it is a challenge to handle the same crimes under different laws. “EAC is a community and without harmonised laws, enforcement will be complicated. For instance, if a person commits a crime in Rwanda and someone does a similar crime in another EAC country, it is a challenge if that crime attracts punishment in one country and is not a crime in another country yet they are all in the same community,” he said In addition, he pointed out that since the countries have a lot to exchange, the harmonised laws will close the gap of giving criminals room in a country with lesser punishments. Prossy Katushabe, the deputy registrar in the high court of Uganda and vice-president of the Uganda judicial officers Association said that having harmonised laws will unite countries and curb the issue of criminals running from one country to another to find safe haven. “For instance, in a country where they are giving a shorter sentence while the other side gives a harsher sentence can turn one into a criminal hub,” she said In addition, Katushabe disclosed that she wanted to learn more about how other countries use technology in courts. Both officials said this during the 19th annual conference of EAMJA which is being held in Rwanda from November 7 to 10, under the Theme of ‘EAC courts’ efficiency in adjudicating emerging cross-border issues: challenges and strengths. During the opening ceremony, Chief Justice of Rwanda, Faustin Ntezilyayo said that the gathering was a great opportunity for EAC Magistrates and Judges to convene together and discuss key issues that affect judiciaries. “Indeed, the 2022 Conference will be unique considering the challenges to justice systems that were caused by COVID-19,” he said The conference is meant to achieve several goals such as defining rights, suggesting practical ways of improving judicial efficiency, and restating judicial principles for timely and fair justice delivery.