COTE D’IVOIRE TO DESIGNATE ITS FOCAL POINT FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE DECISIONS OF THE ECOWAS COURT
Cote d’Ivoire is mulling the prospect of designating the country’s Solicitor General as the focal point for the enforcement of the decisions of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, the country’s’ Minister of Justice, Mr. Sansan Kambile said on Monday in Abidjan.
The Minister told a delegation of the Court, led by its President, Justice Edward Amoako Asante that this was one of the options being explored by the country in order to deepen public confidence in the Court and make it more effective in the integration process.
Article 24(4) of the Protocol on the Court as amended requires that “all Member States shall determine the competent national authority for the purpose of the receipt and processing of execution and notify the Court.’
When designated, the country will join six others- Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Togo- that have determined their competent national authority and communicated same to the Court.
He told the delegation, which was in the country on a weeklong outreach programme, that the timing of the campaign was apt as it would improve the knowledge of Ivoirians about the Court and how it could be accessed as most victims of human rights violations prefer to take their case to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha because of ignorance about the ECOWAS Court.
“ The diversity of the ECOWAS Court and its familiarity with the legal procedures in the region puts it as an advantage and it is important for us to promote our regional court as the preferred recourse for those who human rights have been violated,” the Minister told the delegation which included the other judges and staff of the Court.
Earlier, Justice Asante had spoken of the value of the designation of the competent national authority for the enforcement of the decisions of the Court and said that the outreach in Cote d’Ivoire marked the beginning of campaign that will take the Court to four countries during 2020 as part of the process of engaging with community citizens who have become the centerpiece of the ECOWAS integration project.
He said that the campaign will enable the Court engage with the stakeholders, particularly those involved in the delivery of justice in those countries and disabuse the unfounded apprehension about the role of the Court in relation to national courts.
“ We recognize the finality of the decisions of the Supreme Courts of Member States and our role is not to review their decisions but to deal with human rights issues in line with the mandate of the Court,’ the President explained.
“ In this way, we will be helping to protect the abuse of the human rights of the citizens and help promote good governance, stability and enhance the understanding of the citizens of their rights and the available recourse when abuses occur,’ he added.
The outreach programme has four core platforms including a sensitization component, special forum for lawyers/law students, a town hall and a judicial dialogue with the country’s judges. It will be complemented with media appearances and an advocacy component with senior officials of the host government.