The Vice President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Justice Gberi-be Ouattara has joined the campaign for the development of a more efficient mechanism for the execution of the decisions of the Court that will replace the existing arrangement which requires the designation by Member States of focal points for the enforcement of the decisions.

Reacting to the proposal by the authorities of the Republic of Niger during a visit call by a delegation of the Court to the country’s Ministry of Justice, the Vice President said the experience with the existing ‘ineffective mode of enforcement of the decisions of the Court’  demonstrated the need for its review.

In spite of its shortcoming, Justice Ouattara urged the authorities of the country to work closely with the major stakeholders towards designating the national authority with responsibility for the enforcement of judgments of the Court, in accordance with the commitment made by the ECOWAS Member States.

He pointed out that the execution of the decisions of the Court constitutes a major challenge which must be accorded special attention, and stressed that the strength of a judiciary rests on the implementation of its decisions.

The Vice President used the opportunity to provide some insight into the Court mainly its history of the Court, emphasising its evolution from a court whose initial mandate as an interstate court was solely the interpretation of Community texts while the expansion of its mandate in 2005 enabled it to handle cases related to the violation of human rights.

The 2005 amendment, he added, allowed individuals to approach the court instead of through their Member States, describing this as an important milestone in the evolution of the Court and a major development in human rights protection.

He said the visit, which was part of the Court’s programme of sensitization in the State was intended to enable the court utilise the opportunity afforded by the media to sensitise the greatest number of the citizens of the country on the mandate and powers of the Court.

The Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Chaibou Maman, who received the delegation on behalf of the Minister, commended the court for the programme is commitment to  the protection of the human of the citizens. He also used the opportunity to pay tribute to the Judges of the Court for their credibility and the respect they have engendered from their jurisprudence.

He described the achievement as a source of great public admiration and pride for the Community, an accolade not enjoyed by similar judicial institutions and urged the Court to continue on this trajectory.