The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice on Thursday called for the establishment of an Appellate Chamber to review its decisions.
A delegation on a sensitisation tour in Ghana to create awareness of its existence and operations over the years further appealed to member states to domesticate the court’s treaties and make its judgement enforceable in line with international best practices.
The delegation include; Mr Justice Edward Asante, President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, and Mr Tony Anene Maidoh, a Chief Registrar of the Court.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Maidoh stressed the need for members to own the court and exhibit interests in its operations.
The Registrar of the court said since the year 2001, the ECOWAS Court of Justice has decided on important cases and its judgements were being used for research.
According to him the ECOWAS Court of Justice is also making available on its websites judgements delivered over the years so that people could access them.
Mr Maidoh said it was important for the average man to know about the obligations of the Court’s treaties and seek justice witht the court.
The Registrar of the ECOWAS Court of Justice said it was not useful for the court to give judgements “if they were not enforceable by member states”.
He called for the establishment of an Enforcement Team by member states adding that only five out of the 15 member states have appointed focal persons to ensure the enforcement of the court’s decisions.
Mr Justice Asante said the ECOWAS Court of Justice has embarked on Electronic drive so that people could file their cases via the internet without travelling to Abuja in Nigeria until dates for trial commences and same communicated to parties.
The President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice said plans are in place to develop legal Aid System which would provide the services of lawyers for parties.
He said the Court since 2001 saw over 300 cases filed before it with some Civil Society Organisations filing human rights cases for on behalf of the public.
The ECOWAS Court of Justice is stationed at Abuja, Nigeria and was established in 2001 to ensure that the principles of equity and human rights within the ECOWAS Community were duly observed.
It composed of five independent judges appointed by their respective heads of States and governments for a four year non-renewable tenure.