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Among the various activities marking the tenth anniversary of the Court,the adoption of the Statutes of the West African Judges Association (WAJA) and its Plan of Action, will certainly constitute one of the key moments.

But the week will especially be marked by a special conference on the ten years, with particular emphasis on the achievements of the Court from its creation till date.

Several other themes featuring on the programme for the event period will be treated in form of presentation of papers, and will aim at providing an avenue for assessing the current state of human rights, democracy and good governance in West Africa. Some of such themes are: “Democracy, good governance and human rights: what role for the regional courts of Africa?”, “Law as an instrument of regional integration”, “Enforcement of judgments of regional courts as a factor in the primacy of the law”, and finally, “Democracy and human rights in Africa: what progress so far?”. A diagnosis of the issues raised during the various presentations will help bring out the resultant effects which will help improve Community justice, to the benefit of the peoples aspiring for socio-economic well-being as well as rights and freedoms in their Community zone.

In the same vein, the event will give the Court an opportunity to show the audiovisual documentary it has put together and to unveil a written documentary, a panorama on the Court. There will also be and an exhibition on the domestic law of the Member States of ECOWAS and on ECOWAS Community law.

For two days, high personalities, among whom the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a founding father of ECOWAS, His Excellency Yakubu Gowon, will be present to grace the occasion, together with the Honourable Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Presidents of the Supreme Courts of the 15 Member States, judges from various courts and tribunals; and eminent figures from the judicial world and from other fields of endeavour will be expected in their numbers, to support the Honourable Pioneer Judges of the Court to make the celebration a special event in the history of the Court.

As a reminder, the Court of Justice of ECOWAS was created by virtue of Article 15 (1) of the Revised Treaty and in accordance with Protocol A/P.1/7/91 of 6 July 1991. Thus, it was put in place by the 24th Ordinary Session of Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held at Bamako (Mali) on 15 and 16 December 2000. The first seven (7) pioneer judges appointed by the said Authority were sworn in on 30 January 2001, at Bamako, before His Alpha Oumar Konaré, the then Chairman of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.