The legal practitioners in the Partner States are regarded as very crucial stakeholders in their role as judicial custodians of the legal system whose mandate stretches to protecting the rule of law within the East African Community region. They, like other professionals ought to be well informed on their mandate to ensure effective and timely expedition of their duties.
“As we move towards achieving regional integration, we cannot overlook the perception that disputes are bound to arise either in the implementation of integration projects and programs or in the application and interpretation of the EAC laws” Said EAC Integration Principal Secretary Ms. Betty Maina while opening the workshop. She, in a speech read by Barrack Ndegwa, the EAC Integration Secretary said it was against this backdrop that the legal practitioners required to have adequate information to enable them litigate effectively and resolve the same either through the judicial or non-judicial mechanisms of dispute resolution.
Maina said this was envisaged to promote peace and stability, very crucial element towards enhanced EAC Regional Integration pace. Legal practitioners were tipped as very key stakeholders in the drafting of EAC legislation and providing guidance on the legislative process, a determinant to the journey towards an integrated region. The participants were motivated to strategically ready themselves to represent eventual clients at the East African Court of Justice through familiarizing themselves with the court process and procedures.
The EACJ Deputy Registrar, Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza informed that presently the advocates across the Partner States were in the process of signing a Mutual Recognition Agreement paving way to cross border legal practice across the region. “Once we open our borders you will soon be able to freely practice in any of the partner states” The Deputy Registrar observed. She encouraged sensitization across all Counties to ensure the legal practitioners were fully equipped in matters pertaining regional legal practice. Presently the Legal Sensitization program has been held in Kisumu, Mombasa, Kilifi and Uasin Gishu Counties with a view of rolling it across the Country.