News - May 10, 2021

ECOWAS Court concludes first validation on draft subject matter index

A technical committee of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice is to be set up to finalise its subject matter index, the Court announced on Saturday.
The Court said the index would reflect its key pronouncements on various issues for its benefit and those of researchers and legal personnels.
At the closing of a weeklong workshop on Friday to validate the Court’s index for 2004/2014, its President,  Edward Asante,    said the committee would undertake its work after the conclusion of the second phase of the validation exercise scheduled for the end of May 2021.
Asantee said the exercise would involve decisions taken by the Court between 2014 and 2020.
He explained that the committee would finetune the document to ensure it was comprehensive and captured all the key pronouncements of the Court on various issues and ensure stakeholders enjoyed the rich benefit of the Court’s jurisprudence for the period.
The validation, which involved mainly the judges and legal staff of the Court, involved checking the accuracy of the draft index and its fidelity with the judgments of the Court; confirming it is reflective of the decisions of the Court; establishing that it was comprehensive and reflected the important legal principles pronounced by the Court, and confirming its validity, while effecting changes to fill identified gaps or omissions aimed at ensuring a qualitative improvement.
Several presentations were made by legal staff of the Court on the legal principles identified in the jurisprudence, which were considered and adopted in a general report presented at the end of the sessions.
At the opening of the workshop on 3rd May 2021, the President said the workshop was intended to address the void resulting from the non-existence of a subject matter index of the Court.
The absence of the index, he said, denied the Court, researchers, legal practitioners and other stakeholders of the full benefits of the rich repertoire of the Court’s jurisprudence exemplified by the 272 judgments and 125 rulings rendered by the Court as at 30th April 2021.
Moreover, he said the workshop would serve as a platform “for review of the draft index by all the legal practitioners of the Court and to undertake an objective evaluation and improvement of the document. He said the final document would be uploaded on the web site of the Court for ease of reference and retrieval.

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