The Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Lady Justice Martha Koome, has commended the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) for upholding good governance and the rule of law in the region.
“The jurisprudence you have built over the years on adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice cannot go unnoticed,” said Lady Justice Koome while closing the meeting on validation of EACJ Strategic Plan.
She noted that the cooperation between Kenya national Judiciaries must be upscaled and not limited to hosting of the sub registry at the Milimani commercial courts.
“I wish to see more tangible cooperation in judicial matters like joint trainings and colloquia. The principles of rule of law and good governance are very important to consumers of our services and the full achievement of economic integration in our region,” she said.
“I have noted that the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) makes provision for cooperation with national judiciaries under Article 33 and 34. Article 33 provides “Except where jurisdiction is conferred on the Court by this Treaty, disputes to which the Community is a party shall not on that ground alone, be excluded from the jurisdiction of the national courts of the Partner States.”
Hon Justice Nestor Kayobera , the President East African Court of Justice noted that during the training of Judges on good governance and rule of law in the East African Community, a number of issues were identified and these include; the 2 months time limitation requirement to file a case before the EACJ.
“It has been realized that a number of reasonable cases have been dismissed on grounds of time barred and this requires amendment of the Treaty of EAC to extend time to give litigants enough time to lodge their cases appropriately,” remarked the justice.
He also pointed out the emerging concerns on Article 30 of the Treaty which allows a Legal or natural person to litigate before EACJ as segregative because it limits East African citizens residing out of East Africa thus called for its amendment.
He concluded by informing the Chief Justice that her being the Chair of the Chief Justices’ Forum, the Court has no doubt she will find her full support in harmonizing a number of judicial issues across the region to enable the fundamental principles of the Community are achieved.