Ecowas court president

Justice Maria Do Céu Silva Monteiro of Guinea-Bissau

The President of the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] Court of Justice, Justice Maria Do Céu Silva Monteiro, has called for French support in strengthening the court towards the successful discharge of its mandate.

He said the court is the last bastion for the defence of the human rights of citizens of West Africa.

“We have been doing our best as the regional court responsible for the interpretation of community texts and the protection of the human rights of citizens but difficulties remain in the areas of enforcement of decisions of the court,” she told visiting French Ambassador to Nigeria.

According to a statement issued by the ECOWAS Commission and made available to the Ghana News Agency, Justice Montiero also assured the ambassador that judges of the court would continue to conduct themselves with dignity in order to protect its integrity and sustain public confidence in the court.

The president told the ambassador that the court has relied on a variety of tools to encourage Member States to comply with their obligations under the Protocol on the court to enforce decisions of the court through sensitization and advocacy.

Justice Monteiro also spoke on the issue of the appointment of the judges of the court and proposed that this should be staggered for institutional memory and the stability of the court.

She also briefed the ambassador on the history and mandate of the court.

Responding, Mr Denys Gauer, suggested that the court should explore the possibility of introducing a peer review mechanism on the implementation of its decisions which would serve as a “naming and shaming” platform to encourage member states to comply with its decision.

The ambassador, who was accompanied by the Embassy’s First Counsellor in charge of ECOWAS matters, M. Bertrand de SEISSAN de Marignan gave the assurance that France is willing to assist the court to realise its objective, particularly in the area of training.

He said his country is also willing to help the court attract support from the European Union, and paid tribute to the court for its role in strengthening respect for human rights in the region.

Also at the meeting were the Vice President, Chijioke Friday Nwoke and the Dean of the Court, Jerome Traoré.

Source: Ghana Web

Ends

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