11 – 13 March 2024 (Arusha, Tanzania) – With the support of UNESCO, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) conducted its 2nd Regional Media Training for Editors and Journalists on Judicial Reporting in the East African Community (EAC). Held at the EAC Headquarters, the training was attended by 32 editors and journalists from East Africa who were called upon to promote awareness among East African citizens about the Court's mandate. Most importantly, they were tasked with ensuring access to justice for East African citizens by enhancing the court’s visibility and cooperation with partner states to implement its decisions, with many EAC citizens remaining unaware of the EACJ despite its important role in the region’s integration agenda.

The training couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, addressing the gap in quality judicial reporting across the region by journalists. Proper understanding of the court’s mandate, mechanisms, proceedings, rules, and procedures enables journalists and media stakeholders to effectively report on court matters to EAC citizens.

The training was inaugurated by Hon. Justice Nestor Kayobera, EACJ Judge President, who emphasized the media's critical role as a pillar and key stakeholder in informing East Africans about the court’s decisions and their implications on the integration agenda of the EAC. Ms. Christine Mutimura, EACJ Deputy Registrar, provided a brief background in highlighting its key mandate in ensuring adherence to the law, interpretation and application of the EAC Treaty, and compliance with it. “By ensuring justice, rule of law, and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with the East African Community Law, the Court is a critical pillar in the realization of regional integration.”

PALU CEO Mr. Donald Deya, who also attended most of the media training, challenged journalists to report on the wider context of the community to enhance cooperation among member states. He commended the EACJ for being the very first international court to go fully virtual at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I encourage the Court to ensure that its proceedings are consistently hybrid so that the media from all over the EAC Partner States can access all its proceedings in real-time, from all over the EAC.”

In addition to the knowledge gained by journalists and media actors, they also resolved to collaborate more closely with one another and requested the court to further streamline access to information on cases and court proceedings in a manner that could be promptly reported to the public.

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