This case was filed on 6 November 2020 and is currently pending before the East African Court of Justice in Arusha. The applicant organizations brought proceedings against Tanzania and Uganda to stop the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which would be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world, in these two States. They claimed that the respondent governments had signed agreements to build the pipeline even though the project is environmentally untenable and will traverse protected areas in East Africa. They also claimed that the affected people in both Uganda and Tanzania would suffer substantial and irreparable losses from the project, as well as damage to the environment. They submitted that the agreements in question were signed without the submission of an environmental and social impact assessment. As a result, the project had gone ahead despite undue regard to East African law, international environmental law and human rights law. They also made claims that the third respondent, the Secretary General of the East African Community, had failed to discharge his obligations under the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community concerning matters affecting the community.
The applicants invoked articles 2, 3, 4, 7 (1), 9, 13 (1), 14, 16, 21, 22, and 24 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. They also invoked articles 2, 14, 16, and 17 of the Revised African Convention on the Conservation of Natural Resources. Furthermore, they argued that the project was inconsistent with the respondents’ commitments under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
Date of filing:
6 November 2020
On 6 November 2020, the applicants applied for a temporary injunction restraining the respondents from constructing the pipeline until their case had been decided by the East African Court of Justice.
The reference was, the applicants submit, filed within the statutory period of two months of the imputed actions and omissions of the respondent States. The respondents contested this, as well as the jurisdiction of the court to consider issues concerning human rights as well as arguing that the matter was not ripe for a hearing. On 5 April 2023, the East African Court of Justice heard arguments for and against these objections to the court’s jurisdiction. The Court reserved its judgment on this matter until it has heard the merits of the case.
Measures taken as a result of the judgment:
Status of case:
A hearing in the case was held on 2 July 2021.
Suggested case citation:
East African Court of Justice, Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights et al. v. Tanzania, Uganda and the Secretary General of the East African Community, petition filed on 6 November 2020, Application No. 29 of 2020.
For the full application brought before the Court, click here (via climatecasechart.com).
For a summary of the developments of April 2023, see here.
27 June 2023