EALA Speaker urges regional legal fraternity to remain alive to the integration process
… pledges EALA’s full co-operation while welcoming new EALS PRESIDENT
East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania, January 21st, 2019:The EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Ngoga K Martin, has urged the regional legal fraternity to play a key role in sensitization on the integration process and to act as citizens’ point of checks and balances if the EAC is to make significant gains through a people-centred approach.
This morning, Rt Hon Ngoga met with the new President of the East Africa Law Society (EALS) Advocate (Mr) Willy Rubeya at the Speaker’s Chambers in Arusha. The EALA President was accompanied by the regional Law Society’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hanningtone Amol.
The EALA Speaker urged the regional law society officials to take a lead role in bringing the legal fraternity and the civil society to speed on matters of regional integration. The Speaker further encouraged EALS to work with Partner States and various stakeholders to ensure speedy realization of approximation of national laws to the Community Acts.
“I see the EALS play a critical role in this aspect given that at minimum, about 600 pieces of Partner States’ acts in the region need to conform to regional legislations”, he added. The Speaker said EALS as an organized professional society was capable of ensuring compliance to the tenets of integration and termed the regional bar Association as a body that can institute checks and balances on the same for the citizens of the region.
Rt Hon Ngoga said the Assembly would cooperate with the EALS and enhance a symbiotic relationship that consults every so often on matters of legislation and pertinent integration areas to improve the lives of East Africans. In attendance was the EALA Senior Public Relations Officer, Bobi Odiko.
The EALS CEO, Hanningtone Amol, reiterated the regional law society had intensified its efforts in strengthening the integration process through advocacy around the EAC. He said the regional law society had been re-designed to make it more responsive to the region.
The EALS, Mr Amol noted, had finalized plans to launch an EAC Integration index, to be released twice a year giving the state of the EAC as well as an avenue and platform to enumerate policy matters. The Chief Executive Officer further remarked that EALS would ieobegntensify public interest litigation and other collaborative areas as part of its mandate to strengthen the institution and make it more robust.
Earlier in the day, the EALS delegation also paid a courtesy call on the President of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), his Lordship Justice Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja and the Registrar of the Court, Hon Yufnalis Okubo.
EALS has in the recent past referenced a number of applications before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). The past cases include Reference No. 1 of 2011 of The East Africa Law Society versus The Secretary General of the East African Community challenging certain provisions in the Common Market Protocol that according to EALS, purport to oust the jurisdiction of the EACJ.
Another case pits The East Africa Law Society versus The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda and the Secretary General of the East African Community and concerns what the Society calls human rights violations in Uganda during the ‘Walk to Work’ processions. A third case relates to the rendition of Kenyan citizens to Uganda with a view to defining the legal environment for combating transboundary crimes.
The EALS headquartered in Arusha, is the largest organized professional/ civil society dual membership organization in the region with a strong mandate and interest in the professional development of its members. Its membership spans to over fifteen thousand members. The bar associations include the Burundi Bar Association (BBA), Kigali Bar Association (KBA), Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), Uganda Law Society (ULS), South Sudan Bar Association and the Zanzibar Law Society. EALS enjoys an observer status at the EAC.
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For more information, please contact:
Senior Public Relations Officer
East African Legislative Assembly
Cell: +255-787-870945, +254-733-718036
Email: BOdiko [at] eachq.org
About the East African Legislative Assembly:
The East African Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 62, of whom 54 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and eight ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is put in effect by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed 79 pieces of legislation.