The Community Court of Justice will in June 2024 roll out its long anticipated training programme for lawyers from Member States on its newly launched Electronic Case Management System (ECMS), the President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante announced on Tuesday, 16th April 2024 in Freetown.

The President said the three-day training, which will familiarize the participants with among others, the practice and procedures of the Court, will be held in three locations in Accra, Lome and Praia to cover lawyers from the Community’s three language groups.

Justice Asante said during a courtesy call on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley, that the training is intended to close the knowledge gaps among the lawyers, noticed with those who had had to  practice in the Court.  It should also afford the beneficiaries an opportunity to improve on their knowledge of the Court’s jurisdiction and rich jurisprudence thereby enriching Community law.

At the ceremony, which was also attended by the Solicitor General and the Director of Public Prosecution,  the President of the Court described as ‘phenomenal,’  arrangements that have been made by the organizing committee for the conference set up by the government under the chairmanship of the acting Chief Justice, Honorable Justice N C Browne-Marke.

The President, who is leading a 12-member delegation of the Court on a pre-event visit to discuss arrangements for the Court’s 2024 international conference being hosted in the country also paid a similar visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Timothy Musa Kabba.

The minister said that the current political challenges confronting the region exemplified by the withdrawal of three countries from the Community should motivate the other States to demonstrate the viability of the 15-member Community and its intrinsic value for the Member States.

He said that the forthcoming conference of the Court, coupled with an ongoing meeting of the Community being hosted by the country, showed that ECOWAS continues to forge ahead despite the myriad of challenges confronting the 49 year old regional organization, adding that it remains an exemplar among Regional Economic Communities.

The minister described the Court as a ‘potent organ of the Community,’ noting that its proposed training programme for regional lawyers on its Electronic Case Management System (ECMS) to be held in the three Member States of Cape Verde, Ghana and Togo will  help ‘accentuate ‘ their knowledge of the practice and procedures of the Court.

Justice Asante had earlier briefed the minister on the rationale for the proposed training and praised the government of Sierra Leone for the arrangements in place for the international conference which will bring together lawyers, jurists, academics, the Chief Justices of Member States and officials of the States to discuss an issue of contemporary relevance to the Community.

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.

Justice Asante said 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.

The five –day pre-event visit will also enable the delegation to review preparations for all aspects of the conference. Also on the delegation are a judge of the Court from Sierra Leone, Justice Sengu M Koroma, the Chief Registrar of the Court and other staff.