ECOWAS: Past decisions of ECOWAS Court on the table as retreat opens

Calabar, Nigeria (PANA) - As the judicial officers of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice began a three-day retreat in Nigeria's southern city of Calabar Monday (19Jan), the 185 decisions taken during the first 10 years of the Court are among issues to be discussed during the session.

The sixth retreat of the judicial officers of the Court is aimed at familiarising the new judges of the Court with the jurisprudence  of the Court.

Among the decisions to be discussed are 82 rulings, 86 judgments,14 review judgments and three advisory opinions delivered by the regional Court during the period.

The 55 participants include the seven judges of the court who were sworn into office in June 2014, their personal assistants, the Chief Registrar, registry and research officers the Court.

The President of the Court, Hon Justice Maria Do ceu Silva Monteiro, said the retreat would, “beyond the discussion of documents and exchange of ideas”, afford the new judges an opportunity to interact with and know the staff involved with the “judicial functioning of the Court.”

She said the retreat, which was on the theme Jurisprudence of ECOWAS Court of Justice: 2004 to 2014, would acquaint the officers, particularly the judges who have the responsibility for “breathing life into and giving meaning to the law written by States”, with the jurisprudential heritage of the Court.

In discharging their role as interpreters of such laws, the President said the Judge of the Community Court should not only be knowledgeable about such laws but be creative in content and quality in dispensing justice.

“It is therefore of vital importance that we, as new judges, become acquainted with what constitutes the jurisprudential heritage of the Community Court of Justice, so as to respect it and find ways and means of developing it further so that the image of the court can be sustained and enhanced,”  she said.

PANA quoted Hon Justice Monteiro as saying Community Courts have a responsibility to ensure “clarity and predictability” in the discharge of their mandate so as not to alienate justice seekers which can undermine their credibility and potentially tarnish their image.
-0- PANA SEG 19Jan2015

19 january 2015 14:06:40

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