alt The ECOWAS Court of Justice and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights have agreed  on a framework for cooperation that will deepen their contribution to the protection of human rights in Africa and the consolidation of democracy relying on the instrumentality of their mandates.

Under a the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on Thursday, 1st March 2018 in Arusha, both courts agreed to jointly undertake a number of initiatives that will enable them contribute towards improving human rights in the continent through capacity building programme for their staff and reciprocal representation. They also agreed to share information and knowledge as well as research within the framework of their constitutive instruments.

In order to operationalise their commitment in the areas of capacity building and training, the two courts agreed to jointly mobilise resources for the execution of joint projects.

They also agreed to establish a Joint Committee charged with the institutionalization of consultations and ensuring the effectiveness of their cooperation. 

The leader of the ECOWAS Court delegation and President of the Court, Honourable Justice Jerome Traore described the MOU as testimony to the benefits that accompany such a relationship and a reflection of their commitment to their shared vision of an Africa where the human rights of the citizens are protected. 

In his closing speech, he characterised the visit and agreement as the beginning of a rapprochement between the two courts and a befitting legacy that will survive the tenure of the judges and expressed the hope that the impending visit of the African court delegation to the ECOWAS Court in April would mark an important step in deepening relations and the implementation of the MOU.

His counterpart for the African Court, Honourable Justice Sylvain Ore praised the MOU as the beginning of an adventure between the two institutions in their ongoing determination to improve the environment for the delivery of justice and the protection of human rights.

 Justice Ore said the visit will go down in history as the most evident expression of judicial dialogue between courts and expressed the hope that the forthcoming visit of the delegation of the court to the headquarters of the ECOWAS court in Abuja will result in the development of additional initiatives not only towards the implementation of the MOU but also for the organisation of joint platforms.

 The historic working visit of the delegation of the ECOWAS Court enabled Judges and officials of both Courts to discuss a wide range of issues pertaining to their jurisprudence including the thematic issues of human rights and jurisprudence of the courts, overlapping jurisdiction and the mechanism for the enforcement of their decisions.

 The Registry staff of the two Courts also met at the technical level to exchange views on how to effectively provide technical and judicial support to the Courts. 

The ECOWAS delegation was led by its President, Hon. Justice Jérôme Traoré, and composed of five other Judges and senior Registry staff, including the Chief Registrar and other staff.

 During the three –day working visit, delegation also visited two international institutions based in Arusha- the East African Court of Justice and the UN-Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (UN-MICT)- during which they were briefed on the activities of the two institutions which have roles in the protection of human rights.