The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ) is set to begin external court sessions in Ghana today, March 21 at the Law Court Complex.

The external court sessions are part of efforts to bring the Court closer to the ordinary citizen who could otherwise not afford the cost and logistics of travelling to the seat of the Court in Abuja to access justice.

Five justices of the CCJ will deliver judgements for 25 of the cases listed for the external sittings, while 35 cases will be heard before April 1, 2022.

Prior to the sittings, President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, has revealed that most of the cases are related to human rights violations.

He has, therefore, urged member states to enforce judgments of the Court.

This comes after it emerged that only 30 per cent of judgements by the court have been complied with.

“The 30 per cent is not based on the national competent authorites but based on self-will by the countries themselves. We will still call on the authorities that this is a call they’ve made, which is helping people and declaring people’s rights. The bottom line is that even if you are not enforcing, we’ve declared the rights of certain people which are very important.

“They should make sure they resource the courts and they have the proper mechanisms in place for the enforcement of the judgements. I always ask this question; ‘what’s the point in having a court if its judgement cannot be enforced?’”

The Ecowas Community Court of Justice (CCJ) is the principal legal arm of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

It has the authority to provide reliefs for citizens of 15 ECOWAS member states whose human rights have been violated by their countries.

The Court equally has the mandate to interpret ECOWAS treaty and protocols, and resolve disputes between member states and any institution of ECOWAS.

The external sessions hosted in Ghana would be declared open by President Akufo-Addo.