ECOWAS ministers seek amendment to Community Court Protocol

Lagos- Nigeria (PAA) -- Justice ministers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have asked the bloc's Court of Justice to consider widening the court's competence with a view to giving individuals direct access, rather than obliging them to seek its arbitration through members states.
The protocol that set up the court, which was signed in 1991, provides for member states to institute proceedings on behalf of their nationals against another member state, or institutions of the community in the interpretation and application of the provisions of the ECOWAS Treaty.
At the end of their just-concluded extra-ordinary meeting in Abuja, which among other things considered the draft rules of procedure for the court, the Ministers gave the court three months to study the possibility to enable the Ministers of Justice recommend same to the Council of Ministers.
The Ministers also adopted the rules of procedure for the court and the amendment proposed by the court to its protocol and recommended them to the Council of Ministers for approval.
The rules provide, among other things, for the application of electronics in recording the proceedings of the court, whose seven judges were sworn in last year in Bamako, Mali.

07 june 2002 12:33:00

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