• Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

    ECOWAS court delivered 30 judgments in 2020 despite COVID-19 setbacks

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice said delivered 261 judgments out of a total of 496 cases filed before it since its inception in 2003.
    The Registry of the Court, which gave a review of the 2020 judicial statistics, said despite the disruptions by COVID-19 pandemic, the Court managed to deliver 30 judgments in 2020.
    The Registry said the number of judgments in 2020 was slightly lower than the 31 delivered in 2018, and the 38 in 2019, representing the highest number of judgments prior to the outbreak of the pandemic
    The Court said it performance despite COVID -19 pandemic was as a result of the adoption of the virtual Court sessions by the management under the leadership of its President, Justice Edward Amoako.
    The virtual sessions have an advantage enjoyed lawyers and litigants in the areas of cost-savings as they would otherwise have been wasting man-hours travelling to the Court in Abuja for the sessions.
    Since its inception, the report said the Court held 1102 sessions, delivered 261 rulings, issued 32 orders and four advisory opinions.
    Also, the report said the court rendered 19 decisions out of the 35 applications for revision filed before the court, while 140 cases are still pending.
    Details of the cases filed before the Court showed a progressive increase from one filed for each of the first two years of 2003 and 2004, to six in 2005 and 21 in 2006.
    However, the number dropped to 12 in 2008, improving marginally to 14 in 2009 and to 17 in 2010.
    The report noted a significant change in the number cases filed in 2011 with 30 filings, before dropping to 25 in 2012 before increasing marginally to 27 in 2013.
    “There was a major increase in the number of cases filed in 2014 when the figure rose to 31, followed by 39 in 2015; 45 in 2016, rising further to 45 in 2017; 61 in 2018; 52 in 2019, and 55 in 2020,” the report said.
    While the Court delivered one ruling in 2006, the number increased to four in 2007, but dropped to three in 2008, before growing to 12 in 2009.
    The figure dropped to 11 in 2010, a number that was replicated in 2011.
    In 2012, the number of rulings delivered further increased to 19, but dropping to 15 in 2013 and six in 2014.
    There was a marginal improvement in 2015 when the number of cases filed rose to 10, but dropped to eight in 2016 and further to four in 2017 and two in 2018 before recovering in 2019 when the number increased to 10, before another drop to six in 2020.
    In the area of judgments, the Court delivered one in 2004 increasing to four the following year, with a slight reduction in 2006 to three, followed by a marginal increase to five in 2007 before dropping to four in 2009.
    In 2010, the figure increased to eight with a slight reduction to nine in 2011 before doubling to 18 in 2012.
    There was a drop in 2013 to 11 before increasing to 18 in 2014; 28 in 2015; 29 in 2016, and 19 in 2017, followed by 31 in 2018; 38 in 2019, and 30 in 2020.

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