Workshop to validate the subject matter index of the index of ECOWAS Court opens near Abuja

A weeklong workshop to validate the subject matter index of the ECOWAS Court of Justice opened on Monday, 3rd May 2021 near Abuja.

The President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante said in his opening remarks that the index will expose the Court, researchers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders in the region to the Court’s rich jurisprudence.

It will also ‘reflect the diverse subject matters and issues determined and pronounced upon by the Court since its establishment exemplified by the 272 judgments and 125 rulings delivered as at 30th April 2021 and arranged in alphabetical order for ease of reference and retrieval.’

He added that although belated, the compilation of the index is “intended to enable the Court address the lacuna created by the absence of such documentation which had denied the Court, researchers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders of the benefit of the rich repertoire of the Court’s jurisprudence.”

The President noted that the workshop, coming not long after the adoption of the template for the judgments of the Court, provides a further evidence of the determination of the present college of the judges of the Court to ‘improve on the important pillars necessary for the improved functioning of the Court.’

Justice Asante said that the workshop has been structured to maximise interactivity in order to ensure a qualitative outcome consistent with the international best practices and which reflects the Court’s international status, adding that in order to ensure compliance with the Covis-19 Protocol and because of the quantum of work required, participants have been grouped into two batches.

“ In order to capacitate the participants for qualitative contributions, ‘ he explained that the participants have been ‘provided four strategic documents including the draft subject matter index, the list of judgments and the general list of assignments of judgments,’ he added.

The President urged the staff to see their involvement in the compilation of the index, which will be uploaded on the Court’s web site, as a priviledge not only to contribute to this important documentation but to benefit from the Court’s rich and enviable jurisprudence.

Participants at the workshop, who are mostly legal staff of the Court, are expected to check the accuracy of the draft and its fidelity with the judgments of the Court; confirm that the index truly reflects its decisions; establish that it is comprehensive and reflects the important legal principles enunciated by the Court; confirm its validity and suggest changes to fill identified gaps or omissions to ensure qualitative improvement.

He paid tribute to the staff of the research and documentation department of the Court, who prepared the draft index and the ‘indefatigable’ Chief Registrar of the Court for his qualitative improvement to the working document.

A judge of the Court will chair each of the ten sessions of the workshop being held at the Global Village suites, in Nassarawa State, near Abuja.

Participants comprising mainly legal staff of the Court are expected to enrich the exercise by providing objective evaluation of the documents including checking the accuracy of the draft index, content alignment with its decisions, ensuring it is comprehensive, confirming its validity and ultimately ensuring a qualitative improvement.