The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is set to embark on a sensitisation mission for Stakeholders in Ghana on the establishment of the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

The ECOWAS Court is a legal organ of ECOWAS, a regional integration community of 5-member states in West Africa. It was created pursuant to the provisions of the Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised treaty of ECOWAS.

The Court has jurisdiction over four types of disputes; those relating to the interpretation, application or legality of ECOWAS regulation, those that arise between ECOWAS and its employees, those relating to liability for or against ECOWAS and those that involve a violation of human rights committed by a member state.

Speaking on GBC’s ‘FM Breakfast Drive’, the President of the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS, Hon Justice Edward Amoako Asante said the Court is not popular in member states therefore the sensitisation mission is to meet stake holders, law enforcements, law practitioners, foreign affairs to make the existence of the court known. Also press conferences about the existence of the court will be held.

He explained that most citizens of member states are not aware of the human right jurisdiction that has been given to Court since 2005. The ECOWAS Court is a free and fair area to seek justice for human right violation.

Portrait of Hon. Justice Edward Amoako Asante; President of Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS and Tony Anene Amiodog; Chief Registrar of Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS.

“The human right jurisdiction that has been given to the court since 2005. Basically, it deals with individuals and member states whose rights have been violated. Many people get their rights violated, they live in their country and have no where to go. They go to the courts in the country but they think they don’t find justice. Therefore, the ECOWAS Court is a free and fair area to seek for justice for for human right abuse,” he explained.

He added that the sensitisation mission is organised in four countries yearly and this year the mission is centered in four countries namely; Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.

The Chief Registrar of the ECOWAS Court, Tony Anene Amiodoh, noted that the ECOWAS Court of Justice is a Community court, therefore it is very important for member states especially lawyers, to know about the practices of the court and its mandate. He added that the enforcement of the judgement of the court has been a major challenge to the court, therefore appeals to member states to appoint relevant authority for the enforcement of court judgements in order for the court to have its place in West Africa.

“It is the responsibility of member states to enforce the judgement of the court. The court have no jurisdiction to monitor or supervise the enforcement of its judgements. We continue to appeal to member states to do all that it is required of them by appointing the relevant competent authority for the enforcement of the judgement of the court,” he concluded.

 Story by Mavis Arthur.

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