The Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia on Monday, 5th December 2016 extolled the valuable role of the regional court in the protection of the human rights of community citizens and promotion of justice as ‘injustice’ breeds ‘chaos, destruction and even death.’

She told judges and staff during her maiden visit to the Court that justice is ‘the fundamental right of every citizen,’ reminding the Court of its sacred duty in the dispensation of justice for the effective discharge of its four-fold mandate.

She also spoke about the prospect of the ‘widening and deepening’ of the Court’s role in tandem with the Community’s progressive movement towards a citizen driven community within the context of its vision 2020  aptly reflected in the slogan of ‘moving from an ECOWAS of States to a Community of People.’

The Chairperson, who was accompanied by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Marcel Alain do Souza, expressed the hope that the Court will continue to support the community in strengthening the human rights environment in the region by doing ‘what is necessary to protect the rights of citizens’ complemented by the efforst of Member States.

While charging the Court to ensure equity in its recruitment in order to reflect the region’s diversity, the President said that there should also be ‘gender sensitivity’ to boost the image of the community as an equal opportunities employer.

Earlier, the President of the Court, Honorable Justice Jerome Traore had assured the chairperson of the determination of the Court to continue to discharge its mandate, particularly on the issues of human rights, in a way to engender citizen trust as the regional recourse for the protection of such rights.

He told the visitor that the Court was working to strengthen its stakeholder sensitization and engagement in order to improve the awareness of the Court and the enforcement of its decisions for the benefit of the citizens and in furtherance of the region’s integration project.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Marjon V. Kamara, Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria and Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh and the ECOWAS Representative in Liberia, His Excellency Babatunde Ajisomo.