Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University brought together the EU and the East African Community in first LEAC conference

On 29 and 30 April 2015 the Leiden Centre for East African Law (LEAC) hosted its first Annual Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference was organized in cooperation with the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) and compared integration through law in the EU and the EAC.

From left to right: Hon. Justice L. Nkurunziza (Vice-President of the EACJ), L. Cuelenaere (Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda), Prof. T. Ottervanger (Professor of EU law Leiden University), Hon. Dr. E. Ugirashebuja (President EACJ), his excellency J. Busingye (minister of Justice Rwanda), Dr. A. Cuyvers (Co-director LEAC), and Prof. N. Huls (Professor of Sociology of Law Leiden University)

With well over a 100 registrations the conference brought together participants and speakers from all EAC Partner states to explore comparative insights between the EU and the EAC. 

The LEAC was honored to have the conference opened by his excellency Johnston Busingye, minister of Justice of the Republic of Rwanda, and to receive the keynote speech from Hon. Prof. Sam Rugege, President of Rwanda Supreme Court. The conference was presided over by Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, the President of the East African Court of Justice. Speakers and participants further included judges, academics, legal practitioners, government and EAC officials as well as representatives from NGO’s and the business community. On behalf of the LEAC presentations were given by Prof. Tom OttervangerProf. Nick Huls and Dr. Armin Cuyvers, covering themes such as the legal anchors of European integration and key legal innovations behind the internal market.

The conference also formed the launching event for the LEAC book project. Together with a carefully selected team of East African authors the LEAC is writing the first ever textbook on EAC law. This book, which will also provide comparative insights and materials on the EU, will provide a vital tool for judges, lawyers, scholars and students engaging with EAC law.

The first Annual LEAC Conference was made possible by the generous support of Allen & Overy LLP, K-Solutions and Partners and the Europa Instituut of Leiden Law School. The LEAC would further like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the Dutch Embassy in Kigali, headed by Ambassador Leoni Cuelenaere.

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