This study examined the role of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (ECCJ) in the protection of human rights in the West African sub-region, specifically under the ECOWAS Treaties of 1975 and the Revised Treaty of 1993.
The research focused on the ECOWAS treaties, Conventions and Protocols. However, references were made to similar international, regional and national treaties, conventions and protocols, such as the United Nations Charter on Human Rights, European Economic Community and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights etc.
The work examined the nature and scope of the ECOWAS mandate and its functions towards achieving the implementation of human rights in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
In this premise, the ECOWAS organs responsible for the execution of the treaties, protocols and conventions were discussed with a view to understanding how human rights issues were adjudicated upon in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice as well as how they solved any noticeable problems in the implementation of these treaties, conventions and protocols.
In this vein, a doctrinal method of research was adopted to achieve this goal by analyzing the nature and scope of not only the human rights concepts but also examining the nature and scope of the jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Court of Justice. This was done using primary and secondary sources of information, such as the ECOWAS treaty of 1975, the revised treaty of 1993, ECOWAS protocols and conventions, and other international and regional community laws as they applied to their respective regions.
Since we were studying the role of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in the protection of human rights under its treaty, we also considered the contributions made by academic scholars on the subject matter, such as in textbooks, journals, articles in magazines, newspapers and most importantly, some case law reports from the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice’s decisions.
More significant was the analysis undertaken in respect of the rules of procedure and evidence in the ECOWAS Court of justice and the access to justice for the citizens of the ECOWAS member states. That was why examining some of the selected case laws adjudicated by the ECOWAS Court of Justice was imperative.
It was based on the above that at the conclusion of this work; we brought out the problems inherent in the implementation of the ECOWAS Treaty as it affected human rights protection with a view to solving them by making reasonable suggestions and recommendations. It was hoped that this would also contribute to knowledge in this area and significantly benefit Researchers, students, and human rights organizations in all ECOWAS member states, Africa and the world.
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