The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established by Article 1 of the Lagos Treaty of 28th May, 1975 to promote the socio- economic integration of Member States of the Community. The Community Court of Justice was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty as the principal legal organ of the Community. Paragraph 2 of Article 15 indicated that the status, composition, powers, procedure and other issues concerning the Court shall be set out in a Protocol relating thereto.
Subsequently, the Protocol on the Court of Justice (A/P1/7/91) was enacted in 1991 to regulate the functioning of the Court as the judicial organ of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and with the responsibility of resolving disputes related to the interpretation of the Community’s Treaty, Protocols and Conventions. Article 2 thereof made the Court the principal judicial organ of the Community. The 1991 Protocol was amended by Supplementary Protocols (A.SP.1/01/05) of 2005 and (A/SP.1/06/06) of 2006. The Protocols, supplemented by the Rules of Court provide the ground rules for the functioning of the Court.
The Court is composed of five (5) independent Judges who are persons of high moral character, appointed by the Authority of Heads of State of Government, from nationals of Member States for a four-year non-renewable term upon the recommendation of the Community Judicial Council.
– Vision Statement
To remain an independent, reliable, efficient and accessible legal and judicial institution of the Community, playing a strategic role in establishing and sustaining an enabling legal environment for the achievement of Community aims and objectives.
– Mission Statement
To discharge and promote its judicial function of interpreting and applying Community texts as well as to ensure the protection of human rights in an efficient, timely and cost effective manner with the support of well-trained and motivated staff.