West Africa’s Community Court of Justice is collaborating with the Pan African Lawyer’s Union (PALU) and the Swedish based Raoul Wallenberg Institute, an academic institution devoted to the promotion of human rights and humanitarian law, to develop strategies for improving on the enforcement of the decisions of the Court.

The operationalisation of the two year project, which is sponsored by Raoul Wallenberg Institute, will involve Member States, Lawyers, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s).

A joint delegation of PALU and Raoul Wallenberg briefed senior officials of the Community Court of Justice on Thursday, 12th July 2018 on the status of the project following a two day consultative with Nigerian lawyers in Abuja.

The two-day meeting, which brought together Nigerian lawyers, was part of a region-wide consultative process on the theme ‘tracking the Status of Implementation of Decisions of the ECCJ.’

The delegation, which was led by Anita Alfred Kyanizi, was received by the Vice President of the Court, Honorable Justice Yussif Kaba, who said that the initiative should help increase the number of its decisions enforced by Member States, one of the Court’s existential challenges.

Records at the court showed that only 35 of the 64 decisions of court have been enforced by Member States due to a variety of reasons, including the preponderance of states that have not designated their focal points for the enforcement of the decisions of the Court.

Under Article 24 on the Court as amended, Member States were assigned the responsibility for executing judgements of the Court in accordance with their Rules of Civil Procedure and consequently required to ‘determine the competent national authority for the purposes of receipt and processing of execution and notify the Court.

The Vice President noted that ‘a Court whose decisions are not enforced is not worth its salt,’ noting that while there has been a ‘marked improvement’ in the level of enforcement, the court was still confronted with the challenge.

He assured the delegation of the Court’s readiness to work with them to improve the enforcement level in order to sustain its credibility among citizens who see it as the last resort for the resolution of cases relating to the violation of their human rights.

The team from the court, which also included Honorable Justices Yaya Boiro and Alioune Sall and other senior officials.