ECOWAS COMMUNITY COURT OF JUSTICE: FEATURES AND CHALLENGES OF ITS HUMAN RIGHTS MANDATE
Keywords:ECOWAS, Human Rights, Court, Features, Challenges, Justice
The protection and promotion of human rights have remained a top priority of the international community for several decades. The violation of the fundamental rights of States and individuals have given rise to a plethora of conflicts both at the international and national level, thus, requiring effective laws and judicial institutions to accord protection of these rights to persons living within specified national territory. The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice since 2005 acquired jurisdiction over human rights matters, giving bold judgements in condemnation of breach of human rights by member parties of the ECOWAS Community. This paper aims at examining the unique human rights features of the ECOWAS Court of justice as well as the inherent challenges facing the court. The paper finds that despite the huge progress made by the court in receiving and deciding on human rights complaints from individuals and NGOs, the decisions of the court are hardly obeyed by member States and the court has no recognized institution to monitor and implement its decisions. The paper relies on primary and secondary sources of information such as International Conventions and Treaties, Books, Journal articles, Judicial Precedents and Internet materials. The paper concludes that the leadership of ECOWAS Community and the regional court must make concerted efforts in addressing the current challenges confronting the court, including monitoring and implementing the decisions of the ECOWAS Court.