EAC Treaty

Supremacy Battle between the Supreme Court of Kenya and the East African Court of Justice: A Reply to Dr. Harrison Mbori

I immensely enjoyed reading Dr. Mbori’s piece in Afronomicslaw titled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Kenyan Supreme Court Shooting is own Foot on Merits Review and Appellate Jurisdiction in Continuing Supremacy Battle with the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ). I now have the pleasure of partially disagreeing with him particularly on whether the EACJ has (merit) review jurisdiction over national laws. This comment is not an attempt at exhaustively analysing the Supreme Court Advisory Opinion in Reference No. E001 of 2022. I found that Advisory Opinion to be surface-level, a bit incoherent and internally inconsistent, and devoid of adequate reasoning. As such, I refrain from commenting on other key issues in the Advisory Opinion. Some of those issues are: how the Court determined that it has jurisdiction to issue the opinion; the relationship between international and municipal law; the Court’s repeated failure to distinguish sources of international law and their interaction with municipal law; the court’s (misplaced) discussion on subsidiarity and margin of appreciation, and the apportionment of interpretation and application functions between the EACJ and domestic courts. Rather, my comment is restricted to the question of whether the EACJ has (merit) review jurisdiction over national laws, which the Supreme Court answered in the negative and which Dr. Mbori answers in the affirmative. I partially disagree with both the Supreme Court and Dr. Mbori, but for different albeit related reasons.

In the Matter of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC: Eugenia Wanjiru Gikonyo v The Attorney-General of the Republic of Kenya

The case filed by Afronomicslaw with Wanjiru Gikonyo as Applicant is brought under Article 30 of the EAC Treaty. Article 30 of the EAC Treaty allows individuals and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who are residents of the community to bring cases against partner states of the EAC where these partner states violate the law.

Hidden in plain sight: Kenyan Supreme Court Shooting its own Foot on Merits Review and Appellate Jurisdiction in Continuing Supremacy Battle with the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ)

Three years ago, at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote an entry in this blog on the Martha Wangari Karua vs. Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya (Martha Karua case) in the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ) First instance division titled: The EACJ First Instance Court Decides Martha Karua v Republic of Kenya: The Litmus Test for EACJ Jurisdiction and Supremacy. In that case, the First Instance division found that the Respondent State through the actions of its Judiciary (Supreme Court) had violated its commitment to the fundamental and operational principles of the EAC, specifically the principle of the rule of law guaranteed under Article 6(d) and 7(2) of the EAC Treaty. The court had found that Martha Karua’s right to access justice was violated and it issued a historic award for general damages in the sum of $ 25,000 to the applicant at a simple interest rate of 6% per annum. Since then, I contend that there is a supremacy battle between Kenya’s apex municipal court and the EACJ in two specific arenas. The first was Kenya’s appeal of this decision in the EACJ Appellate division which categorically dismissed the appeal with costs to the Appellant in February of 2022. The second venue for this ongoing conflict is in the Supreme Court of Kenya where Kenya’s Attorney General filed a reference for an advisory opinion reference that many observers saw as the aftermath of the Martha Karua case. This is the long awaited advisory opinion judgement that was issued on 31 May 2024 and forms the basis of this piece.

Good Governance, People-Centeredness and Transparency on the Spot: Somalia's Mysterious Journey Towards EAC Membership

This analysis dives deep into the Somalia's admission to the East Africa Community (EAC), with the objective of dissecting the admission procedure and analyzing Somalia's Accession Treaty, while scrutinizing the EAC Verification Mission Report. It was noted that while the EAC Treaty declares key principles like good governance, people-centeredness, transparency, and democracy, the specific procedures and rules that it provides for, do not do justice to those principles. This blog therefore, calls for a reform of the EAC institutions by moving the institutions further away from elitism and bureaucracy and bring it closer to the people-centeredness envisaged by the Treaty.

Afronomicslaw Academic Forum Guest Lecture Series: The EAC - Between Elitism and People-Centredness

The Academic Forum is an inclusive and accessible forum that brings together undergraduate and graduate students as well as early career researchers from across the world interested in international economic law issues as they relate to Africa and the Global South.

IEL and the AfCFTA: Beyond Trade Liberalisation, Economic Transformation and Development

In the specific context of the AfCFTA, (international economic) law is supposed to focus on producing rules designed to promote trade liberalisation by eliminating any constraints that are likely to prevent the flow of capital across the continent and to restrict the growth of business activities well as their expansion across national borders.