ECOWAS Court Concludes First Phase of Validation Workshop on its Draft Subject Matter Index

A technical committee of the ECOWAS Court of Justice will be set up to finalise the subject matter index of the Court which will reflect the key pronouncements of the Court on various issues for the benefit of the Court, researchers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders, the President, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante has said.

At the closing on Friday, 7th May 2021 of a weeklong workshop that validated the Court’s index for 2004/2014, the President said the committee will undertake its work after the conclusion of the second phase of the validation scheduled to take place before the end of May 2021 and which will involve decisions taken by the Court between 2014 and 2020.

He explained that the committee will fine tune the document in order to ensure it was comprehensive and captured all the key pronouncements of the Court on various issues and ensure that stakeholders enjoyed the rich benefit of the Court’s jurisprudence for the period.

The validation, which involved mainly the judges and legal staff of the Court, involve checking the accuracy of the draft index and its fidelity with the judgments of the Court, confirming it is reflective of the decisions of the Court, establishing that it is comprehensive and reflects the important legal principles pronounced by the Court and confirming its validity while effecting changes to fill identified gaps or omissions aimed at ensuring a qualitative improvement.

Several presentations were made by legal staff of the Court on the legal principles identified in the jurisprudence which were considered and adopted in a general report presented at the end of the sessions.

At the opening of the workshop on 3rd May 2021, the President said the workshop was intended to address the void resulting from the non-existence of a subject matter index of the Court “which has denied the Court, researchers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders of the full benefit of the rich repertoire of the Court’s jurisprudence exemplified by the 272 judgments and 125 rulings rendered by the Court as at 30th April 2021.”

Moreover, he said the workshop will serve as a platform “for review of the draft index by all the legal practitioners of the Court and to undertake an objective evaluation and improvement of the document,’” adding that the final document will be uploaded on the web site of the Court for ease of reference and retrieval.