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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019


African Court judges to meet ECOWAS Court of Justice

Justice Sylvain Or Justice Sylvain Or

Judges from the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice will meet in Abuja, Nigeria to enhance judicial co-operation and share experiences between the two Courts.

The visit is slated for 29 April to 4 May 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.

President of the African Court, Justice Sylvain Oré explained that the one-week working visit would also serve as reciprocal engagement following the inaugural visit by the ECOWAS Court of Justice to the Arusha-based Court in February 2018.

Justice Ore, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the Continental Court officials would pay a courtesy call on the President, Muhammadu Buhari and meet key officials in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice.
The team would also visit the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, the Nigerian Bar Association and meet Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations.

The African Court President said the visit also forms part of the Court’s on-going efforts to strengthen ties with Regional Courts on the continent.

He said at the end of the meeting a memorandum of understanding would be signed, and that the African Court signed similar MOU with the East African Court of Justice last month in Arusha.

The African Court delegation, included three Judges and senior Registry staff.

The Continental Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

It was to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a view to enhancing the protection of human rights on the Continent.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice, on the other hand, is an organ of ECOWAS, a regional integration community of 15 member states in West Africa.

Although ECOWAS was founded in 1975 by the Treaty of Lagos, the Court of Justice was not created until the adoption of the Protocol on the Community Court of Justice in 1991.

Additionally, the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993 established the Court of Justice as an institution of ECOWAS. The Protocol has been amended twice; in 2005, and again in 2006.

The 2005 Supplementary Protocol expanded the Court's jurisdiction to include human rights claims by individuals.