ECOWAS: Judicial Council Chair makes pledge on regional platform for judges

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Chair of the ECOWAS Judicial Council Rene Francois Aphing-Kouassi has pledged to facilitate the establishment of a regional platform that will bring together judges from the community’s member states to discuss laws relating to regional integration and human rights, in order to promote greater synergy among courts in member states.

Such a platform will also facilitate the implementation of the decisions of the Community Court of Justice, he said, while receiving a delegation of the Court led by Hon. Justice Mahalmadene Hamaye Foune in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on Wednesday.

The ECOWAS Court,  the core mandate of which was revised in 2005 to include human rights issues, has been canvassing  for the creation of such a forum since 2013 as one of the mechanisms for improving community-wide consciousness and implementation of community laws.

Justice Aphing-Kouassi, who is the President of the Supreme Court of Cote d’Ivoire, also pledged to facilitate the designation of a focal point in the country for the implementation of the decisions of the Community court, as stipulated under Article 24 of the Court’s revised Protocol of 2015.

Only three of the Community’s 15 member states have communicated their focal points to the Court as required under the revised Protocol.

Hon. Justice Mahalmadene had earlier told the chairman of the preparatory efforts made by the Court towards the creation of the regional forum of judges, highlighted during two stakeholder meetings held in Accra in 2013 and Cotonou in 2014 involving lawyers and judges.

He provided further justification for such a forum  which would promote greater understanding, among judges, of community texts and the integration issues, in addition to facilitating the region-wide implementation of these texts and contribute immensely to the realisation of the community’s integration agenda.

The judge, who is at the head of the court’s delegation on a three-day media  sensitisation mission in the country, later met with officials of the its Ministry of African Integration and Ivorians living abroad, during which he briefed them on the mandate of the court,  its vision and efforts to sensitise the public on its role in regional integration.
-0- PANA SEG 9April2015

09 Abril 2015 11:21:38

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