ECOWAS Court laments poor law application by member states

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ECOWAS Court of Justice has complained about the poor application of community law by the national courts of member states.

The court stated that this impacts negatively on the growth of the law and the region’s integration project.

“In twenty years of operation, the Court has never been seized of a referral by a national court”, said Vice President Justice Gberi-be Ouatttara.

Ouatttara spoke at the opening of the first ordinary session of the 2022 ECOWAS Parliament.

Parliamentarians will consider various reports, hold an interactive session with the regional civil society and consider the report of the ECOWAS Commission President on the implementation of the Community work programme.

Justice Ouattara represented the Court President Justice Edward Amoako Asante at the ceremony.

He blamed the bad law application on the poor knowledge of the court despite its enviable jurisprudence, sensitization campaigns and external court sessions.

The judge expressed concern about the absence of nationally designated focal points for the execution of the court’s decisions in many member states.

Quattara charged West African countries to domesticate legal instruments, particularly the Revised Treaty and the Protocols of the Court.

The judge further lamented that states were taking too long to trigger the procedure for the domestication of the instruments and urged them to make amends.

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