On 4th June 2020, Tanzanian government passed Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, No. 03 of 2020, amending, among others, the Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act, the Presidential Affairs Act, The National Assembly (Administration) Act, and the Law Reform (Fatal Accident and Miscellaneous Revision) Act. The four laws are currently the main legislations in the country governing the institution of public interest litigation cases to challenge the violation of the Bill of Rights and regulate the institution of cases against national leaders.
The amendment sought to completely abolish the community’s right to challenge prevalent constitutional violations in the country through courts of law. Furthermore, the bill proposed unjustified immunity for the heads of the executive, the judiciary, and the parliament from legal proceedings for violations of the constitution. This is a fatal blow to the rule of law, good governance and accountability by the heads of the three arms of the state to the people.
Center for Strategic Litigation, together with other like-minded organizations, approached the East African Court of Justice challenging the provisions of the Bill for contravening the provisions of Articles 6 (d), 7(2) and 8 (1) (c) of the East African Community Treaty.
The matter is still pending before the East African Court of Justice awaiting scheduling conference.