The ECOWAS Court will launch its inaugural moot court competition for law students in universities in West Africa in 2020 as part of its efforts to deepen knowledge of Community law among students, a judge of the Court has said.

Justice Dupe Atoki said during a question and answer session at a town hall meeting hosted by Court in Dakar on Thursday, 27th February 2020, that the modalities for the moot competition were being worked out and that prizes will be awarded for the most outstanding students in the competition which is part of the 2020 work plan of the Court.

She said at the meeting, attended by students from three universities in Dakar and other stakeholders, that the session will also test the knowledge of the students of humanitarian law and praised the students in attendance at the meeting for their demonstrated grasp of the Court, including its mandate, jurisdiction, jurisprudence and challenges.

She added that the delegation was impressed with the knowledge of the Court, its jurisprudence and the challenges including the challenge of enforcement of its decisions in some Member States demonstrated by the students during the town hall meeting, adding that this showed that they have not only benefitted from sound scholarship but were working hard for excellence.

The Judge assured the students that the Court will communicate the details of the competition to their schools as soon as the modalities were determined and expressed confidence that the session, to be moderated by international judges, will complement existing initiatives by the Court to boost public awareness of the Court and Community law.

She also explained that the Court was bound to implement community texts that are human rights based on the applications by those with claims for human rights violations but won’t go fishing for litigation.

‘People must bring their cases before the Court for us to decide in accordance with the applicable community and other texts,’ she added.

The town hall meeting is one of the four activities organized by the Court as part of its weeklong outreach campaign in the country whose other components include sensitization, a special forum for lawyers and law students as well as judicial dialogue with judges of national courts.

The meeting was attended by Lawyers, journalists, women groups, Non-governmental organisations and representatives of women organisations.

The technical session featured papers on an overview of the court, how to file cases before the court and women’s rights. Other issues related to the court were also presented during the other activities which also enabled the delegation of the Court to pay courtesy calls on the Minister of Justice, the President of the Bar Association and the representative of the President of the Supreme Court.