High Court president, Johnston Busingye, has commended the recently launched strategic plan of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), saying that it outlines the design of the Court under the EAC Treaty, its appreciation in the region, its visibility, and its capacity.
Busingye is also a Principal Judge at the Tanzania-based regional tribunal.The EACJ Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 was launched on Sunday in Arusha, Tanzania.
Busingye explained that the document presents an overall strategy for the next five years that includes initiating consultations with the relevant EAC organs and other stakeholders so that the ad hoc nature of the court is reviewed, opening sub-registries in the Partner States and holding sessions in member states as a matter of policy.
“The plan is very important since it comes in the wake of the recent commencement of the EAC Common Market, which is expected to further stimulate trade and economic activity within the region,” he said.
“It was necessary for the Court to address the strategic issues it is faced with, if it is to fulfill its mandate as stipulated in the treaty.”
He added that the plan is part of efforts that court has made to define its own specific role in the EAC integration process as it positions itself as an active key player in regional matters.
Busingye noted that the plan will focus on working towards the establishment of the permanent seat of the court, engage with East African Legislative Assembly and other EAC organs and institutions to ensure that the trend of creating parallel dispute resolution mechanisms is stopped.
He emphasized that the court’s determination is to see that it becomes a well-designed tool of justice that will address most of the legal challenges emanating from a wider and deeper integration of the community.
The newly launched Strategic Plan is the product of a participatory process which started in November 2009 and concluded in February this year and it will be incorporated in the EAC’s five-year Development Strategy.
EACJ is one of the organs of the EAC established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.
It is major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat.