The ECOWAS Court of Justice on Wednesday, 26th February 2020 launched its rescheduled weeklong outreach programme in Dakar with a special forum dedicated to lawyers and law students, one of the four campaigns planned for 2020 by the Court.

In his opening speech, the Vice President, Justice Gberi-be Ouattara,  said that the 2020 campaign  which started in Cote d’Ivoire on 16th February 2020, was designed to engage with the Court’s stakeholders and enable ECOWAS citizens take ownership of Community Law.

He praised the country’s bar association for successfully mobilizing its members for the programme despite the initial delay, saying that in setting up the Court as the main judicial organ of the Community, Heads of State and Government were acknowledging the role of the court towards the success of the development agenda of the Community.

Justice Ouattara said the two other campaigns are planned for the year will hold in Guinea and Niger and that the campaigns will focus on its mandate,   competences,  human rights jurisdiction, practice and procedure, representation before the court and the privileges and immunities for lawyers and agents before the court.

Earlier, the President of Senegal’s Bar Association, Barrister Papa Leyti Ndiaye described the programme as a ‘useful platform for familiarizing the lawyers, most of whom are ignorant of the court, to its peculiarities, particularly in the area of human rights that has become its preeminent mandate.

He assured the court of the determination of the association to work with the court in deepening knowledge of the court among its members as this will better equip them for practice with the Court.

The campaign is segmented into four parts, mainly a sensitization component, the special forum for lawyers and law students, a town hall and a town hall meeting. The Judicial dialogue enables the judges and staff of the court to discuss the relations between the Court and the national jurisdictions of Member States.

In the case of Senegal, this presentation will be delivered by a former Judge of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Alioune Sall.

The Vice President had earlier on Tuesday, 25th February 2020 paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Justice, Mr Malick Sall, who used the opportunity to praise the court for its contribution to the development community law and the protection of human rights.

He expressed the regret of the host for the delayed commencement of the campaign and assured of the government’s determination to contribute to the success of the outreach as a demonstration of its confidence in the court as an important instrument for the realization of the objectives of the community.

In his comments, the Vice President had commended the government for its commitment to the success of the campaign.