Preparations for the 2024 annual conference of the ECOWAS Court scheduled for Freetown, Sierra Leone, was boosted on Monday, 15th April 2024 after President Julius Maada Bio accepted an invitation to declare the four-day conference open on Monday, 13th May 2024 in Freetown.

“This is our Court and we need to give it the necessary support,” the President said while responding to the invitation by the President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, who is leading a delegation of the Court to engage with officials of the host government on preparations for the conference.

The President assured that the country will provide the necessary support for the success of the conference consistent with the national character of Sierra Leoneans as a ‘welcoming people.”

Justice Asante had said that by honoring the invitation, the President has affirmed the stature of the conference as a high profile event of the Court which brings together lawyers, academics, jurists and Chief Justices of Member States to discuss a subject of contemporary relevance to the Community.  He expressed the gratitude of the Court to the government of Sierra Leone for the quality of preparations and the inclusiveness of the membership of the local organizing committee.

This years’ conference is on the theme Enhancing the role, relevance and effectiveness of the ECOWAS Court of Justice through the strengthening of synergies between the Court and national stakeholders.

The delegation of the Court was accompanied on the visit by the country’s acting Chief Justice, Honorable Justice N  Browne-Marke and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley, Esq

The 12 member delegation had earlier met with the Chief Justice and members of the judicial organizing committee during which it was briefed on arrangements for the conference. Justice Browne-Mark used the opportunity to assure the delegation that arrangements were advanced for the conference.

The five –day pre-event visit will also enable the delegation to review preparations for all aspects of the conference.

Justice Asante had earlier explained that the conference is designed to generate constructive discussions around the strengths and weaknesses of the Court’s relationship with various national stakeholders and propose practical solutions for the enhancement of the role, relevance and effectiveness of the Court.

This is the first time an international conference of the Court will be hosted by Sierra Leone since the inaugural edition in 2004 was held in Dakar, Senegal.