His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah, Chief Justice of Ghana
The Chief Justice said this at the opening ceremony for the maiden External Session of the Court in Accra, on 21
st March, 2022. The ECOWAS Court held its sittings in Accra from 21 st March to 1 st April, 2022.
According to His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah,“in view of the expansive mandates of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, it is necessary to review the decision that was taken in 2017, that reduced the number of Judges of the Court from seven to five,” he urged.
“The Court, I believe, requires an adequate number of Judges to discharge its functions very effectively” the Chief Justice said.
Again, it would be necessary to review the four year non-renewable tenure of the members of the Court, to enable the Community to derive maximum benefits from their wealth of experience” Chief Justice Anin Yeboah further added.
Community Court of Justice
Justice Anin Yeboah lauded the Community Court of Justice for the concept of external sittings, observing that it will bring the Court closer to citizens in the Sub-Region, on whose behalf the Court exercises its mandate.
Judgments and Enforcement
His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana
Ghana’s President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, appealed to member states of the regional body to abide by the decisions of the Court. “In spite of the best efforts of the ECOWAS Court of Justice to deliver on its mandate, it is constrained by the poor rate of enforcement of its judgments which presently stands at some thirty percent (30%), he said”.
“Unless member states comply with the judgments of the court, it will be difficult to build public confidence in the court” President Akufo-Addo said.
“I appeal to all member states to ensure that they comply with their treaty obligation by observing and obeying the judgments of the court”.
His Lordship Justice Edward Asante, ECOWAS Court President
Speaking on the conflict between the jurisdiction of national courts and the ECOWAS Court, the President implored the Court to find solutions to the phenomenon, which he said was not in keeping with the established procedure of international courts.
Hon. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney General and Minister for Justice
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, in his statement congratulated the CCJ for its ruling in the case of Amnesty International & Others versus the Togolese Republic, which earned the Court, the Global Freedom of Expression Prize 2022, given by the Columbia University, USA.
The Court in their ruling held that the Togolese government violated the applicants’ right to freedom of expression by shutting down the internet during a September 2017 protests.
The ECOWAS Court of Justice is an organ of the Economic Community of West African States, a regional integration community of 15 member states in Western Africa.
It was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States.
The Mandate of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ) is to ensure the observance of law and of the principles of equity and in the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Revised Treaty and all other subsidiary legal instruments adopted by ECOWAS.