“ The essence of the program is to bring justice to the common man at the Community’s grassroots, especially the indigent citizens who could otherwise not afford the cost and logistics of travelling to the seat of the Court in Abuja to access justice,” the President of the Court, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante said.

Furthermore, the President said the session avails the Court of the opportunity for judicial dialogue with national courts of Member States and exposes lawyers and Community citizens to the Practice and Procedure of a regional international court. It also enables the Court to engage with high political authorities of the host Member State and serves as a citizen outreach opportunity for the Court on its competence, mandate as well as practice and procedure of the Court.

Citing Article 26 (2) of the 1991 Protocol on the Court, Justice Asante said the protocol allows the Court to undertake such sessions in the territory of  Member State outside the Headquarters of the Court ‘where circumstances or facts of the case so demand” and based on an order of the Court convened by its President.

The order for the Accra session was dated 29th October 2021 and signed by Justice Asante.

Justice Asante said that since its introduction, similar sessions have been held in Niamey, Ouagadougou, Porto-Novo, Ibadan (Nigeria), Lome, Guinea Bissau, Abidjan (twice) and Bamako.

Despite the importance of the session, the President said it could not be held in 2019 and 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic which compelled the Court to integrate remote hearings for cases, including the external court session.

The session is expected to be declared open on Monday, March 21, 2022 by the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is also the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

For any further clarification, please contact the Director of Communications, Judicial Service of Ghana (Mr. J. R. Ampong-Fosu) on +233 244744202.