ECOWAS Court conference concludes in Freetown, urges member states to uphold Judgments

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By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice (ECCJ), Edward Amoako Asante, has called on member states to faithfully comply with the Court’s judgments and adhere to its decisions.

This appeal was made during the closing session of a four-day international conference in Freetown, which focused on enhancing the Court’s role, relevance, and effectiveness through stronger collaboration with national stakeholders.

Asante emphasized the importance of member states honoring the Court’s rulings and urged the three nations yet to appoint their competent national authorities to do so promptly.

He noted that the conference theme aimed to highlight the ECOWAS Court’s significance in the regional legal landscape and the necessity of building robust synergies with national courts.

The conference sought to foster constructive discussions on the Court’s strengths and weaknesses in its relationships with national stakeholders, aiming to find practical solutions to enhance these connections.

The goal was to address gaps in the Court’s normative framework and address national courts’ concerns about certain aspects of its jurisprudence.

Asante acknowledged the vital role both regional and national courts play in the ECOWAS integration process, emphasizing that a healthy relationship with national courts is crucial.

Acting Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Justice Nicholas Browne Marke, highlighted the conference’s significance for the legal profession in Sierra Leone. He noted that it would help local lawyers understand the Court’s procedures, enabling them to file and represent cases more effectively.

Browne Marke pointed out that currently, only members of the Nigerian Bar Association are actively arguing cases in the ECOWAS Court, and stressed the need for Sierra Leonean lawyers to engage similarly, as awareness about the Court remains limited outside media reports.

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