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ECOWAS Court laments poor law application by member states

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has expressed dissatisfaction with national courts’ application of community law.

According to the court, this has a negative impact on the development 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.

Ouattara addressed the first ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in 2022.

Parliamentarians will consider a number of reports, as well as an interactive session with regional civil society and the ECOWAS Commission President’s report on the implementation of the Community work programme.

At the ceremony, Justice Ouattara represented Court President Justice Edward Amoako Asante.

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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