The Registrar of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), Dr John Ruhangisa, has called for permanent judges to be resident at the regional court, adding that the continued operations on ad hoc basis renders the court inefficient.
Ruhangisa made the remarks yesterday during the first-ever sensitisation workshop on the role of EACJ in the East African Community (EAC) integration process in Kampala, Uganda.
He said that for the court to manage the increasing workload, it had to resort to planning hearings by way of sessions whereby judges travel to its seat in Arusha to hear cases every last week of the month.
“We strongly feel that time has come for at least the President of the Court and the Principal Judge, to start with, to be permanently resident in Arusha,” Ruhangisa told a multitude of delegates.
Presently, the court is awaiting a decision by the EAC Council of Ministers to determine when it would become fully operational.
EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera, said that the EAC is now involved in an institutional review process to identify which institutions will drive the integration agenda forward.
“What kind of court do we need..? Because you can’t have a court operating on an ad hoc basis implementing a common market, so we need to strengthen it,” he told The New Times in an interview yesterday.
“Now that the cases have increased, we are working to see that some of the judges are permanent in Arusha, and I hope that the council of ministers will agree to this when it comes to them in November (this year),” said Sezibera.
The President of the High Court in Rwanda, who is also the Principal Judge of EAC, Johnston Busingye, will today make a presentation on ‘EACJ’s future prospects.’