By John Ikani
The ECOWAS’ Community Court of Justice is set to celebrate 20 years of its existence with a review of member-states obligations as well as adherence to rulings of the court.
This is contained in the programme of events made available by the court.
The Conference, which opened in Lome, Republic of Togo yesterday, would feature President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, who is also Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, President of Togo Faure Gnassingbe and the President of ECOWAS Jean Claude Brou.
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Sidie Mohamed Tunis, prominent Nigerian legal luminary Femi Falana, as well as Justices of the sub-regional court would also attend the event hosted by President of the Court, Justice Edward Asante.
The Conference, which would consider the future prospects of the court would also deliberate the mandate of the court, its strengths and weaknesses as well as the ECOWAS Human Rights Regime.
The role of the community court in the integration process would also be up for deliberation.
According to the programme, a cardinal aspect of the deliberations will be ‘how to hold member states accountable for their treaty obligations and failure by some to meet their obligations to ECOWAS.
The Conference would also seek to clearly differentiate the roles of the community court and those of national courts in member states to avoid conflicts.
“Coming on the heels of this is the quest to address the challenges with enforcement mechanism of the community court, monitoring such executions as well as the role of national courts and the ECOWAS Commission.
“The week-long conference will also seek the best approach to settlements in cases of human rights violations in Member-states and ultimately reposition the court for better performance.”
The Conference will bring together policy-makers, legal experts and other stakeholders from across West Africa as participants.
It is worthwhile to note that the Community Court of Justice was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Mandate of the Court is to ensure the observance of law and of the principles of equity and in the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Revised Treat and all other subsidiary legal instruments adopted by the Community.