The 2019/2020 legal year of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice will be declared open by the President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante on Monday.
The opening is the first by the present college of Judges since their swearing in on 31st July 2018.
The annual solemn ceremony, which formally marks the transition into another legal year, offers the Court an opportunity to interface with its stakeholders and present its judicial records as well as its aspirations and programmes for the new legal year.
The 2019/2020 legal year ceremony will be celebrated around the theme; “The need for a Strong and Independent Regional Court for the Economic Integration of West Africa,” to emphasise the imperative of a strong and independent judiciary for the realisation of the region’s pursuit of economic integration.
“In choosing the theme, our intention is to draw attention to the need for a strong and independent regional court for the economic integration of West Africa,” Justice Amoako said.
Justice Amoako explained that that “the European Union has demonstrated that any successful Regional Economic Community, needs a strong and independent regional court in addition to the normative framework in order to facilitate the integration process.”
A renowned and distinguished scholar, Muhammed Ladan would speak on the theme as Guest Speaker.
The Professor of Public International Law and Comparative Jurisprudence of Regional Integration Law, who has a long association with the Court, is the Director of Legislative Support Services of Nigeria’s National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.
Justices Edward Amoako Asante (President, Ghana), Gberi Be Ouattara (Vice President, Cote d’Ivoire) Dupe Atoki (Nigeria), Keikura Bangura (Sierra Leone) and Januaria Costa ( Cape Verde) were sworn in on 31st July 2018 in Lome, Togo by the then Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, His Excellency, President Faure Essozinma Gnassingbe of Togo.
Dignitaries expected at the ceremony include; Nigerian government officials, Heads of ECOWAS Institutions in Abuja, Members of the Diplomatic Corps including Ambassadors of Member States accredited to ECOWAS and the Bar Association.
The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS was established pursuant to the provisions of Article 15 of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS as the principal legal organ of the Community, and in the discharge of its functions, independent of the Member States and Institutions of ECOWAS.