Chief Justice calls for inclusion of Ecowas procedures in law trainnings


Adoba Echono

The Acting Chief Justice of The Gambia, Justice Gibou Janneh has proposed the incorporation of the study of the mandate, jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the ECOWAS Court in the curriculum of the country’s national university in order to equip the graduates for the practice of Community Law.

Justice Janneh who stated this at the closing ceremony of a three-day training programme of the Court for judicial stakeholders in the country stated that students should also be acquainted with the Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He praised the ECOWAS Court programme as ‘practical, educative and useful particularly for those interested in the practice and procedure of the Court.’

Understanding of Community Law

Justice Janneh also commended the participants for their active participation and suggested that it should be replicated in other Member States in order to strengthen the understanding of Community Law, including the Rules of Procedure of the Court.

The leader of the delegation of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice to the training, Justice Keikura Bangura expressed gratitude to the government and people of Gambia for the hospitality extended to the delegation, and the participants for their interest and participation.

He characterised this as evidence of their interest in the Court and expressed the commitment of the Court to continue to engage with Community citizens through its variety of programmes, using the variety of modern tools.

The Special Representative of the ECOWAS President to The Gambia, Ambassador Varbah Gayflor urged the participants to deploy the knowledge gained from the seminar in ‘transforming the country’s legal landscape through the strengthening respect for the human rights and the increased participation of nationals in the judicial system.’

She said the protection of human rights would also help reduce the sense of exclusion, particularly in a fledgling democracy and commended the Court for its ‘good work’ through the programme.

The President of the country’s Bar Association, Mr Salieu Tael, described the training as a ‘laudable initiative by the court which hopefully should be the first of such activities in the country’’ as it has improved the understanding of the participants of the Court’s mandate and jurisdiction.

About 60 people, mostly from the country’s judiciary, Judges of the Supreme and other superior courts, the Bar, Law faculty of the University of The Gambia, including students, participated in the training programme.

It was designed to acquaint participants with the ECOWAS Community Law, the organization and functioning of the Court, its jurisdiction, Rules of Procedure and Jurisprudence, among others.

Lateefah Ibrahim