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 COURT PRESIDENT CALLS FOR A CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT PROMOTES EFFICIENCY AND SPEEDY DISPENSATION OF JUSTICE


A committee is to be set up by the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS to develop proposals for improving the management of cases brought before the Court in order to ensure the emergence of a system that promotes efficiency and the speedy dispensation of justice, the President of the Court, Honorable Justice Jerome Traore said on Friday, 24th June 2016.


Justice Traore said while opening the 8th Judicial Retreat of the Court that the committee will propose a document to guide the Court in managing its cases and clarify the roles of the different structures involved in the management of cases within the Court.


The document, he said, would take cognisance of the recommendations of the retreat as adopted by the College of Judges and serve as practice directions and instructions to the Chief Registrar on the management of cases in order to improve the Court’s case management system prior to the amendment of the relevant texts of the Court.


The President said the retreat is in response to the ‘’difficulties encountered by the Registry and even the Judges, especially the Judge Rapporteur in the management of cases submitted before the Court due to the gaps and shortcomings contained in different texts governing the procedures before the Court.’’


Among the difficulties are the lack of clarity on the role of the Judge Rapporteur in the written and oral procedures and the relationship with the Registry which explains why the retreat revolves around the sub themes of the lodgement, processing and service of applications; representation of parties before the Court; written and oral procedures as well as special procedures.


He therefore challenged Judges of the Court, who are the first victims of these difficulties, to bring their expertise and experience to bear on this process for finding the best solutions in order to ensure that the four days of the retreat result in ‘’concrete solutions’’ to the different problems that could be implemented expeditiously.


In presenting an overview of the objectives and expectations of the retreat, the Chief Registrar, Mr Tony Anene-Maidoh said the focus of this year’s annual retreat on the case management system is in recognition of the value of an efficient system to the speedy dispensation of justice. ‘


’An efficient system pay attention to the efficient processing of applications, compliance with legal framework, transmission and notification of processes, scheduling certainty of hearing dates and delay reduction measures,’’ he explained.


The Chief Registrar said such a system will provide ‘’clear guidelines devoid of ambiguities’’ for staff involved in case management so that they can be held accountable based on a clear template that also guarantees efficient collaboration between the Registry and the offices of the Honorable Judges, particularly the Judge Rapporteur, the language services division and the Research Department.


In this regard, he said the retreat offers ‘’an excellent opportunity to articulate a case management system for the ECOWAS Court of Justice,’’ and urged he participants to seize this opportunity to address identified concerns so as to give clear directives to the Registry on case management. Judges, their Assistants and staff of the Registry and Research Departments are attending the retreat which is on the theme Improving the case management system of the Court.