The President of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Amoako Asante, has on Thursday, 16th of November 2023 affirmed that a three-day Judges Retreat organised by the Court is expected to provide guidelines that will help the Court in scheduling cases. 

“The guidelines that will emerge from the discussions during this retreat are expected to help us with the scheduling of cases in relation to applications for expedited procedure, interim measures and default judgment,” the president said.

Delivering the opening remarks at the Retreat holding at Global Village Suites in Nigeria ’s Nasarawa State, Justice Asante said the event, organised under the theme Strengthening the ECOWAS Court of Justice “will focus on a myriad of issues deemed important to the effectiveness of the Court”.

According to the President, these issues include the modalities for the award of compensation and the need for uniformity and unique practices before the Court and the need for convergence with the legal systems of the Member States.

In addition, he said the participants will reflect and deliberate on the guidelines for the scheduling of cases with special emphasis on the applications for expedited procedure, interim measures and default judgments.

The President called for uniformity in practice in the award of compensation noting that “the template will not only be consistent with the best international practice but also help to rest the unfounded notion of arbitrariness in the existing arrangement”.

He expressed the confidence that the outcome in the development of templates will contribute to furthering the case law of the Court and its leadership among the regional courts in Africa.

Justice Asante mentioned that the Court is taking steps to strengthen the Community legal order and improve the enforcement of its decisions by engaging with the national courts of Member States for synergy towards the convergence of the legal system of the Community.

Participants at the three-day retreat will, among others, also reflect on the effect of applications for extension of time as well as on the consolidation of cases.

The retreat which the Court organises annually is designed to enable the Judges reflect and provide direction on contemporary issues important for the seamless functioning of the Court.

Other honourable judges that are attending the retreat include Justices Gbéri-bè Ouattara (Vice-President), Dupe Atoki, Sengu M. Koroma and Ricardo Claúdio Monteiro Gonçalves.

Also present are the Chief Registrar, directors, heads of divisions and units, legal officers and some key support staff of the Court.