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ECOWAS Court seeks harmony with national courts as Int’l conference closes

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ECOWAS Court seeks harmony with national courts as Int’l conference closes

The President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Judge Amoako Asante, has emphasized the need for the national courts of the member states to operate in harmony with the regional court to further the ECOWAS objective of community integration.

He also called for the taming of the treaty and the revised ECOWAS protocols in court.

Asante made the call while delivering a comment at the closing of the International Conference organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the court.

The week-long conference has as its theme: “Twenty Years of the ECOWAS Court of Justice: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects”.

Asante said: “To achieve our goals of community integration, it is of utmost importance that the relationship between the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the national courts of the Member States is properly defined and that they work together in harmony.

“It is also necessary for member states to domesticate the revised ECOWAS Treaty and the Protocols of the Court and to comply with or voluntarily implement the judgments of the Court.

“Therefore, the time has come for member states to pay attention to the ECOWAS legal regime, as community laws are not directly applicable in member states.

“This is in addition to the lack of collaboration between the ECOWAS Court of Justice and the national courts of member states, as seen by the lack of referrals from member states,” he said.

He added that the non-implementation of the court’s ruling was also an indicator of the lack of harmony between both parties.

Asante emphasized that member states must work with the court towards harmonization of the judicial and legal systems with the objective of “creating the legal environment conducive to the achievement of our community objectives.

“We must also recognize that ECOWAS is a supranational organization and of ECOWAS, the member states have implicitly ceded part of their sovereignty to ECOWAS to act on their behalf in areas of common interest.

“Therefore, it is in our collective interest that member states fulfill their Treaty obligations to ECOWAS.

“Therefore, we hope that the recommendations of the conference will be implemented by the States and the Court, in order to reap the full benefits of the results of this conference,” he added.

He expressed the hope that in the years to come, the ECOWAS Court of Justice will have the opportunity to prosper beyond its human rights mandate and play a more effective role in the community’s economic integration agenda.

He thanked all conference participants for their immense contribution to the results that have been achieved.

In particular, he thanked the President of the Republic of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, the chief judges of the member states and ministers, as well as the heads of other ECOWAS institutions for their assistance.

reports that at the end of the conference recommendations were formulated that border on the challenges and achievements of the court, its jurisdiction, the ECOWAS human rights regime, the execution of sentences and the strengthening of the court’s effectiveness.

Source: NAN

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