University of Sussex
Sibo, Gahizi YvesS.pdf (1.78 MB)

International cooperation in criminal matters: a case study of the East African community

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posted on 2023-06-09, 21:29 authored by Gahizi Yves Sibo
This thesis examines the development of cooperation in criminal matters in the EAC. It considers transnational organised crime as a phenomenon that calls for a comprehensive regional mechanism to coordinate national responses, especially since the freedom of movement provided by the EAC Common Market Protocol opens the door to criminals who take advantage of this right to frustrate justice and to find safe havens in the Partner States. The thesis draws on the experience of the EU to evaluate the relevance to the EAC of some of the legal and institutional mechanisms which have been developed in Europe. Using a regionalism theoretical approach, the thesis views the re-establishment of the EAC in 1999 as a response to the pressure of economic globalisation, the worldwide emergence of the new regionalism after the end of the Cold War and consecutive resurgence of regional organisations in Africa, Asia, and South America. The example of the flourishing of European cooperation, and a clear global preference for multilateralism over bilateralism in issues such as trade and economy, security and environment were also significant issues. Based on various reports on the types of crimes, the criminal networks involved and their routes, the thesis argues that transnational organised crime is a serious threat in the EAC that needs to be addressed urgently. The thesis also draws on interviews and other qualitative data collected at the EAC institutions and recommends a simplified and expeditious cooperation model freed from diplomatic and political interference and channelled directly between national authorities responsible for the subject matters of cooperation in the Partner States. Furthermore, the thesis argues that the freedom of movement enshrined in the EAC Common Market Protocol should be extended to legal cooperation to allow mutual recognition of national courts’ decisions and judgments for the surrender of suspected offenders and accused between the Partner States as well as the collection of evidence across national borders. More importantly, the thesis calls for the creation of a supranational East African criminal law applicable in transnational criminal proceedings, to ensure effective investigation of transnational organised crimes and other serious offences as well as the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators in the region.


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  • eng


University of Sussex

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