ECOWAS and African Courts Pledge to Strengthen Jurisprudence on the Continent


The ECOWAS Court of Justice (CCJ) and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) have pledged to strengthen jurisprudence on the continent through regular peer review mechanisms.

The two judicial institutions made this known during a peer review meeting of their officials when a delegation from the AfCHPR headquarters in Tanzania visited the CCJ headquarters on Monday in Abuja.

The CCJ Chief Registrar, Dr Yaouza Ouro-Sama, who welcomed the delegation on behalf of the court’s President, Justice Edward Asante, said the meeting was crucial and an opportunity for sharing experiences between both sides.

Ousa while recalling that in June 2023, a delegation from the CCJ had visited the AfCHPR headquarters where an MoU was signed for setting up a Joint Committee for institutionalizing consultation and effective cooperation, urged the AfCHPR to ensure it’s speedy implementation and suggested regular dialogue in line with the MoU’s provision for periodic dialogue and discussions.

He said: “As a key observer of African jurisdictions, one may affirm without the risk of error the warm relationship between the African Court of Justice and the Community Court of Justice and the dialogue that is firmly installed between the two parties.

“It is without doubt that the dialogue of judges has been firmly installed within the global justice system and this international trend to internationalize justice as a backing force to the law has seen the African courts affirming their role vanguard organizations.

“The ECOWAS Court of Justice has uncontestably observed the dialogue of judges at the bilateral as well as the multilateral levels, the most important of which is the one held in Zanzibar in 2022 between the CCJ, AfCHPR and the Community Court of East African States.”

He disclosed that the peer review meeting’s activities to include discussions on jurisprudence developments in both jurisdictions, as well as the role judicial actors and legal aide play.

Others, he said included capacity building, research, library and documentation, legal procedures, human resource management and supplies.

According to the Chief Registrar, the “galaxy of expert participants” would cross fertilize ideas for the overall benefits of the respective jurisdictions.

Responding, the leader of the AfCHPR delegation, Dr Segnonna Horace, extolled the warm relationship existing between the CCJ and AfCHPR.

He said that the dialogue of judges had been affirmed globally, adding that AfCHPR was already a vanguard of justice at multilateral level.

Horace said that the CCJ official delegation of June 2023 was a demonstration of the commitment of both sides to cooperation which has further cemented dialogue among judges.

He said that one of the key objectives of the peer review meeting was to enable them arrive at resolutions and report back to the Joint Committee for necessary action.

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