Case Commentary on the British American Tobacco v Attorney General of Uganda (EACJ) and GETMA International v The Republic of Guinea (OHADA CCJA)
Harrison Otieno, Mbori
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This case commentary uses the in-depth case study and thick-description approach to analyze and comment on two important cases from the East Africa Court Justice (EACJ) and the OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (OHADA CCJA). The cases are the British American Tobacco v Attorney General of Uganda (EACJ), 2019 (BAT case) and GETMA International v The Republic of Guinea (OHADA CCJA arbitral award), 2014 (GETMA case). The BAT case is the first case decided by the EACJ on a purely international trade and commercial law subject matter. This is significant since the EACJ’s docket has since its first decision in 2006 been dominated mainly by human rights, rule of law, opposition politics, and employment cases. The GETMA case on the other hand is renowned because of the action of the arbitrators in the OHADA CCJA arbitration to request a significant increase in their arbitration fees over the amount set under the OHADA arbitration rules. Outside of this controversial issue in the GETMA case, this commentary delves deep into the other accompanying cases involving the same parties in International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the enforcement proceedings in the US Federal Court in DC. The two cases thus present many lessons for future litigants, stakeholders, commentators, academics, and students in the East African regional integration process and in OHADA harmonization of business laws and arbitration.