The ECOWAS Court of Justice on 6th December 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg Institute to cooperate in the promotion of fair and efficient justice system that will enhance the rule of law and human rights in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Institute is named after Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg, a Swedish Architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. It has been working with the East African Court in furtherance of its mandate as an independent donor funded organisation involved in the promotion of human rights and humanitarian law.

Activities to be implemented under the MOU are mutually beneficial capacity development programmes; research and studies on core human rights promotion and protection issues and others for increasing awareness and visibility of the parties.

They also agreed to develop and exchange documents, publications, reference and library resources; promote the integration of international and regional law and jurisprudence in teaching and curricula of academic institutions and sensitize decision and policy makers on the importance of accessible justice for the effective realization of human rights

The President of the Court, Honorable Justice Jerome Traore, who signed for the Court, said the ceremony marked another important milestone in the evolution of relations with the Institute, following the 13th February 2017 working visit of the Head of the Nairobi office of the Institute, Mr. Josh Ounsted to the Court.

He described the MOU as the fruit of intensive engagement between officials of both parties which will contribute to the effective implementation of the commitments made by Member States to the promotion and protection of human rights.

In particular, Justice Traore said it would enable the parties to work jointly towards improving the protection of human rights in the spirit of independence, assuring that the Court would harness the opportunities provided by the MOU to contribute to improved respect for human rights in the region in line with the commitments by Member States of the Community and its mandate.

Mr. Chris Muthuru, Senior Programme Manager of the Institute, who signed for his organization, outlined the goals of the Institute  to include support for research and studies to institutions, courts and the academia on humanitarian law and human rights promotion and protection; increasing awareness on human rights in member states; sensitization of policy and decision makers on the promotion of justice, development of library materials of institutions, academia and courts and promotion of integration of regional jurisprudence on human rights, human rights education among others.

He said that the institute has established relationship with various legal bodies such as Bar Associations, Pan African Lawyers, the East African Court of Justice, African Court of Justice and similar institutions.

He invited a delegation of the Court to a study tour of the headquarters of the Institute in  Sweden as well as the European Court of Justice and the East African Court of Justice which already benefits from the support of the Institute.