By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja – The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has recorded a total of 220 judgements and 113 rulings since inception in 2001.
The Chief Registrar of the court, Mr Tony Anene-Maidoh, made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja.
He said that 425 cases had been filed in the court, with 115 cases pending and 984 court sessions held.
“A total of 425 cases have been lodged with the ECOWAS Community Court since its inception in 2001, with 355 decisions consisting of 220 judgments, 113 rulings, 18 revisions of judgments and four advisory opinions.
” A total of 984 court sessions were held while 115 cases are pending.
“The productivity of the current college of judges who rendered 35 decisions is remarkably a new record for the court,” he said.
He said that judges were working under challenging circumstances, noting that their number reduced from seven to five in spite of increased workload.
According to him, the reduction in the judges’ tenure from five years (renewable) to four years (non-renewable), inadequacy of translators and the ‘worrisome’ enforcement of its decisions are challenging.
Anene-Maidoh said that the Protocol on the Court, as amended, gave member-states the obligation to enforce decisions of the Court in accordance with Rules of Procedure of concerned member-states.
He added that the Protocol enjoined them to determine the competent national authority for receipt and processing of the judgments of the court.
He said that unfortunately, only five member-states – Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Togo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria – had appointed a competent national authority for the enforcement of the decisions of the court as prescribed by its Supplementary Protocol.
The chief register launched an appeal for member-states to address the issues
The official expressed concern at the lack of referral to the court by the national courts of member-states in line with the provisions of the Supplementary Protocol.
He expressed the hope that the new legal year would record deepening of the fraternal relations between the court and its stakeholders, mainly member-states, community institutions and development partners.