High Level Delegation from East African Court of Justice visit Mak School of Law
On 30th November 2022, a delegation of Honourable Justices of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) visited Makerere University School of Law to engage academia and students in promoting Justice in the East African Community Integration Agenda.
The visiting delegation was led by Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera – Judge President of the EACJ together with Hon. Justice Kathurima M’Inoti – Judge EACJ Appellate Division, Hon. Justice Cheborion Barishaki – Judge EACJ Appellate Division; Hon. Justice Yohane Masara – Principal Judge EACJ, Hon. Justice Dr. Charles Nyawello -Deputy Principal Judge EACJ, Hon Justice Richard Wabwire Wejuli – Judge EACJ First Instance Division and Her Worship Christine Mutimura Wekesa – Deputy Registrar EACJ.
The EACJ delegation was accompanied by members from the Judiciary of Uganda i.e., Hon. Lady Justice Anne Mugenyi – Deputy Head of Commercial Division High Court Uganda, Her Worship Juliet Hatanga – Deputy Registrar Commercial Division High Court Uganda, and Her Worship Juliet Nakitende – Assistant Registrar Commercial Division High Court Uganda.
On arrival, the EACJ delegation were received by the Leadership of the School of Law led by Assoc. Professor Ronald Naluwairo – Principal, Dr. Zahara Nampewo – Deputy Principal, Heads of Department and staff. They were led on a tour of an exhibition of material produced by research centres at the School of Law.
The delegation proceeded to the School Auditorium to engage students.
Welcoming the delegation to the School of Law, the Principal, Assoc. Professor Ronald Naluwairo said, ‘we are privileged to host the EACJ as you celebrate 21 years of existence and in a year that Makerere is celebrating 100 years. We are grateful that you chose to spend this special day with us’. Assoc. Professor Naluwairo added that the School of Law recognizes the contribution of the EACJ to the fundamental principles of the East African Community especially good governance issues: adherence to principles of democracy, rule of law, social justice, accountability, transparency and gender equality.
In her remarks, Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Deputy Principal School of Law noted that the visit by a high level delegation from EACJ was a great opportunity for the students. ‘The students are able to see the Justices in real life, having read about their judgements’, she added.
Introducing the delegation, Deputy Registrar of EACJ, Her Worship Christine Mutimura Wekesa introduced the delegation to the students. Her Worship Christine Mutimura Wekesa who is an alumnus of the School fondly reminisced about her days as a student noting that some of the current faculty were her classmates. She urged the students to work hard as soon as they start law school; ‘years run so fast while you are here, don’t wait for the final year to start’, Her Worship advised.
Addressing the students, Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera, Judge President – EACJ said, ‘today is the 21st Anniversary of the East African Community Treaty and the court. We are beyond honored to celebrate our anniversary at Makerere University as you celebrate 100 years’. He thanked the School for receiving the delegation, ‘I am happy because I am in my house, we feel at home and a great day for us to be here’.
Judge President, Hon. Justice Kayobera encouraged the students to visit the EACJ and witness the work done. ‘The court belongs to you, you should come and see what is happening’ he said. He added that lawyers have a big role to play in as far as access to justice is concerned, ‘the Community needs legal people to resolve their legal issues’.
In his remarks, Mr. Percy Mpindi – President of Makerere Law Society requested the EACJ delegation to consider introduction of a Moot under their sponsorship dedicated to the service at EACJ and East African Community Integration Agenda. ‘This will help bridge the gap between student lawyers and the court’, Percy said.
Hon. Justice Kayobera welcomed Percy’ proposal and advised that Moot Competition is very important, however it would be better to have Moots organised based on judgement writing. Writing competitions could also organised for Law students and East African communities, Hon. Justice Kayobera added.
The EACJ Judge President handed over gifts to the School of Law which included: EACJ Law Reports, copies of the East African Community Treaty; and copies of the Rules of Procedure of the EACJ.
Professor Henry Alinaitwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor – Finance and Administration, Makerere University thanked the delegation for visiting Makerere University and the gifts given to the School of Law. Professor Alinaitwe noted that these visits inspire the students. ‘As a University, we are committed to having a strong School of Law ensuring that we admit the best through pre-entry exams, a new building for the School is under construction which will have state-of-the-art facilities and human resource capacity building for faculty is on-going’, the Deputy Vice Chancellor highlighted.
A vote of thanks was moved by Dr. Busingye Kabumba, Senior Lecturer and Ag. Director – Human Rights and Peace Centre, School of Law. Dr. Kabumba reiterated the message from Makerere Law Society of the willingness to work with the EACJ on various activities that would enhance promotion of Justice in the EA Community Integration Agenda. He added that the academia commit to continue engaging the EACJ on court jurisprudence.
Earlier in the day, the delegation met Professor Barnabas Nawangwe – Vice Chancellor Makerere University. They also held an informative engagement with the University Management; toured an exhibition of research outputs and innovations under the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund; and toured Makerere University Library with particular interest in the Law Section.
Written By Ms. Zaam Namuli Ssali, Principal PRO, School of Law