EACJ Delivers Reasons for Disallowing Application 5 of 2015
(the “Burundi Third Term Case”)
Yesterday, 29 July 2015, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) delivered the reasons for disallowing Application No. 5 of 2015, arising from Reference No. 2 of 2015 (the “Burundi Third Term Case.”)On 6 July 2015, the East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF) filedReference No. 2 of 2015, against the Attorney General of Burundi, the Independent National Electoral Commission of Burundi and the Secretary General of the East Africa Community. The Reference challenges the legality of the entire “third term project” in Burundi, starting with the impugned Decision of the Burundi Constitutional Court (made on 5 May 2015), and all consequent and subsequent actions undertaken by the Government of Burundi, the Presidency of Burundi and the Independent National Electoral Commission of Burundi. This Reference is yet to be heard on its merits.
On the same day (6 July 2015), EACSOF filed, within the above Reference, Application No. 5 of 2015, seeking urgent Interim Orders (Provisional Measures) to stay the Burundi Presidential Election, pending the Hearing of the Reference on its merits.
On 14 July 2015, the Court held a brief ex parte Hearing (i.e. only the Applicant, EACSOF was present). It ordered that there be an inter partes Hearing (i.e. with all parties present) on 20th July 2015; and further that the Applicant (EACSOF) files English translations of two of the documents that it had appended to its Pleadings in the case. (Decision of the Court here)
On 20 July 2015, the Court held an inter partes Hearing, with the Applicant (EACSOF) and the 1st Respondent (Attorney General of Burundi) represented. The 3rd Respondent (Secretary General of the East African Community) was not present but sent communication that he would be bound by the Decision of the Court. The 2nd Respondent (Independent National Electoral Commission) has neither filed a Response nor presented itself in Court to date. After Submissions by the Applicant and 1st Respondent, the Court issued a Summary Decision in which it briefly disallowed the Application for urgent Interim Orders (Provisional Measures). It indicated that it would deliver the Reasons for its Decision at a later date, as provided for in Rule 68(3) of the Rules of Court. (Summary Decision of the Court here)
Yesterday, 29 July 2015, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) delivered its reasons for disallowing Application No. 5 of 2015. (Reasons for the Decision of the Court here)
While the Application for Interim Orders (Provisional Measures) has been disallowed, the main Reference remains to be heard. The Applicant (EACSOF) is represented by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), which remains committed to litigating all the issues in the Reference fully.