The Court is the judicial body of the East African Community (EAC). It combines the roles of a Court of Justice for the EAC as well as that of a human rights and appellate court (still to be finally determined). The Court has jurisdiction over the interpretation and application of the East African Treaty of 1999. It may have extended jurisdiction upon conclusion of a protocol to that end such as other original, appellate, or human rights jurisdiction. The protocol to extend the jurisdiction to human rights has to be concluded yet.
Its human rights jurisdiction will be based on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Even though it lacks a human rights mandate as clear as that of the ECOWAS Court, the East Africa Court of Justice has a very progressive human rights judgement to its credit. Although explicit human rights jurisdiction of the Court is yet to be operationalised, the latter has been courageous enough to ensure that basic rights of individuals under the Treaty are respected.
Reference to the court may be by legal and natural persons resident in any of the member states, EAC member states and the Secretary General of the EAC. The Court’s temporary seat is in Arusha, Tanzania.