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EA Court of Justice trains South Sudanese Judges, legal counselors

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto


East African Court of Justice (EACJ), in collaboration with Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), trained over 15 judges and legal counselors from the Ministry of Justice.

The Wednesday training was conducted on good governance and rule of law in the East African Community.

Speaking during the opening session, Isaac Gabriel Awou, Undersecretary of Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, appreciated the EACJ for organizing the training in Juba.

He said the ministry has been waiting for judges in South Sudan to be trained on court procedures.

He acknowledged that South Sudan has many cases in the regional court.

“We have conducted several meetings with the EACJ Judge President about the need for us to train our judges about the proceedings of the EACJ,” said Wou.

Meanwhile, the Judge President of the EACJ, Justice Nestor Kayobera said the training aims at offering a clear understanding of how the EACJ operates because many people file cases that would have been handled in-country.

According to him, it is only in South Sudan that such training has never been held, meaning that Wednesday event is the first of its kind in the country.

“We discussed this with my brother, the Chief of Justice (Chan Reec Madut), the last time we were here, but also with the deputy and the other judges here that let us organize this training so that at least you can have the same understanding of the community,” Justice Kayobera said.

He said foreign lawyers have filed cases against South Sudan in different sectors.

“Because the EACJ is your court, whether you like it or not, people are filing cases against any of the personalities, not from South Sudan but even lawyers from Kenya. Many cases that have been filed against the government of South Sudan are not filed by lawyers from South Sudan alone but by lawyers from East African personalities,” he said.

Justice Kayobera lamented that the EACJ is considering establishing a sub-registry in Juba to reduce the burden of traveling up to Arusha, Tanzania.

“We thought it better to establish this sub-registry after having interacted with the judges and the Minister of Justice. In some countries, when they established the sub-registry, they thought we were campaigning so that the people could file cases against their governments, which was not true. So, we thought it was better if we also understood,” he added.

Several South Sudanese have recently been going to the East African Court of Justice because they claim that the judiciary in the country is not independent.

The judge president also disclosed that the South Sudanese lawyers in the EACJ are doing well compared to when the country first joined.

However, South Sudan Deputy Chief Justice, John Gatwech Lul applauded the president of EACJ for his representation as president.

He appealed to South Sudan lawyers to work according to their ethics for the betterment of governance in South Sudan.

He said if such trainings are organized, judges have to learn from them.

“All of us are lawyers; I cannot say that I am Mr. I know more; we have to take this training seriously so that we are on the same page,’’ he added.



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