This chapter examines how opposition political parties and politicians have sought to overcome repressive practices in four of the six East African Community member states: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan. Opposition political parties and politicians from these countries have prodded the East African Court of Justice to use a treaty remedy for violations of rules governing the elections of members to the East African Legislative Assembly in each of these countries. They have done so by pursuing a judicial remedy in the East African Court of Justice to resolve a coordination problem that opposition parties face when their opportunity to participate in an above-the-board election is compromised by a dominant party in their home country. These cases show how challenging the electoral malpractices of dominant parties in the East African Court of Justice, facilitate opposition mobilization against dominant parties in ways that are not always possible, or even anticipated, in the home country of the opposition party. The East African Court of Justice has facilitated this coordination by consistently affirming that above the board elections are the only permissible mode of electing members of the East African Legislative Assembly. This has in turn helped opposition political parties to know when they have a factual basis with a likelihood of success so that they could bring cases against dominant political parties in the East African Court of Justice. By contrast, the lack of cases from Burundi and Rwanda, the chapter argues shows that the clampdown on organizational rights in these countries have made it impossible for opposition parties and politicians to bring election cases before the East African Court of Justice.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Gathii: International Courts as Coordination Devices for Opposition Parties: The Case of the East African Court of Justice
James Thuo Gathii (Loyola Univ. Chicago - Law) has posted International Courts as Coordination Devices for Opposition Parties: The Case of the East African Court of Justice (in The Performance of Africa's International Courts: Using International Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, James Gathii ed., forthcoming). Here's the abstract: