Home » ECOWAS Court Sensitizes Ghanaian Stakeholders on Its Mandate and Jurisdiction

ECOWAS Court Sensitizes Ghanaian Stakeholders on Its Mandate and Jurisdiction

A delegation of the regional court visits Ghana for a six-day campaign to raise awareness and engagement

by Victor Adetimilehin

The ECOWAS Court of Justice, the judicial arm of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is on a mission to inform and educate various stakeholders in Ghana about its role and functions. The court, which is based in Abuja, Nigeria, has the mandate to adjudicate on human rights, integration, and community-related matters among the 15 member states of ECOWAS.

Aiming for Better Access and Understanding

The delegation, led by the president of the court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, arrived in Ghana on Sunday, January 7, 2024, for a six-day sensitization campaign. The campaign is part of the court’s efforts to close the knowledge gap among community citizens and to promote access to justice and the rule of law in the region.

During the campaign, the delegation will participate in radio and television programs, as well as meet with lawyers, law students, civil society organizations, government officials, and the general public. The delegation will also pay courtesy calls on the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration, and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The campaign will cover various aspects of the court’s mandate, jurisdiction, procedures, decisions, enforcement, challenges, and relationship with the national courts of the member states. According to a report by GNA, the delegation will also seek feedback and suggestions from the stakeholders on how to improve the court’s performance and visibility.

Enhancing The Integration and Development of West Africa

The ECOWAS Court of Justice was established in 2001 as a supranational court to ensure the observance of law and justice in the ECOWAS community. The court has the competence to hear cases concerning the interpretation and application of the ECOWAS treaty, protocols, and regulations, as well as cases of human rights violations brought by individuals or groups against any member state.

The court also has the power to issue advisory opinions on legal questions relating to the community. The court’s decisions are binding on the member states, community institutions, and individuals, and are enforceable within the member states.

The court’s president, Justice Asante, said that the court is an essential instrument for the integration and development of West Africa, as it fosters peace, security, democracy, and human rights in the region. He urged the stakeholders to take ownership of the court and to make use of its services and remedies.

He also expressed his appreciation to the government and people of Ghana for their hospitality and cooperation and hoped that the campaign would enhance the awareness and appreciation of the court among the Ghanaian public.

The sensitization campaign in Ghana is the first of its kind in 2024 and follows similar campaigns in other member states in previous years. The court plans to visit more member states in the coming months, as part of its outreach and communication strategy.

The campaign is also a timely opportunity for the court to celebrate its 20th anniversary, which falls on January 30, 2024. The court has marked the occasion with various activities, including the launch of a commemorative book, a documentary, and a website.

The court hopes that through its sensitization campaigns and other initiatives, it will be able to increase its impact and relevance in the region and contribute to the realization of the ECOWAS vision of creating a borderless, peaceful, prosperous, and cohesive West Africa.

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