ECOWAS, African Courts sign MOU to enhance cooperation and mandate execution

The Court of Justice and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights have signed a new (MOU) aimed at improving the execution of their respective mandates.

The MOU was signed in Arusha, United Republic of , following a three-day judicial dialogue between the judges and officials of both courts.

Under the MOU, the courts have agreed to collaborate through staff exchanges, representation in each other's programs, joint training, and sharing of knowledge, information, and research.

The cooperation also includes the publication of their respective jurisprudence and capacity building within the framework of their constituent instruments.

The new MOU replaces the inaugural MOU signed in 2018, which expired in March 2021. Its purpose is to strengthen the existing relationship between the courts in the protection of human and people's rights.

During the dialogue, the two courts discussed various issues related to their mandates, including human rights, overlapping jurisdictions, structures, appointment procedures, funding, access, admissibility of cases, compliance with decisions, and implementation mechanisms.

The courts' legal staff also held a working session to share experiences and exchange ideas on case management, drafting judgments, legal aid, enforcement of judgments, and challenges faced.

The review of the previous MOU led to recommendations for its renewal and proposals to ensure the effectiveness and implementability of the successor MOU.

Additionally, a five-year Plan of Action was adopted to guide the implementation of the new MOU.

The closing ceremony of the dialogue was jointly presided over by the Presidents of both courts, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante and Honorable Lady Justice Imani Aboud of the ECOWAS and African Courts, respectively.

As part of the visit, the ECOWAS Court delegation, accompanied by some judges of the African Court, also visited the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) and the East African Court of Justice in Arusha.

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