ECOWAS Court of Justice (ECJ)

Overview

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice was created by a Protocol that was signed in 1991 and subsequently incorporated into Articles 6 and 15 of ECOWAS's Revised Treaty. It began operating in 1996. Its mandate is to interpret and apply the provisions of the Revised Treaty and all subsidiary legal instruments.

Contact details

10 Dar Es Salaam Crescent
Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II
Abuja
Nigeria

Tel: (234) (9) 524-0781
Fax: (234) (9) 670-8210
Email: information@courtecowas.org; info@courtecowas.org; president@courtecowas.org

Court terms

Determined by the President, according to Article 27 of the Protocol and Article 21 of the Court's Rules.

Judgments

Some of the Court's judgments are available on its website.  A more comprehensive database is maintained here by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.

Jurisdiction

The Court's jurisdiction is set out in Article 9 of the Protocol, as now amended by a 2005 Supplementary Protocol, read with Article 76 of the Revised Treaty.

In terms of Article 9, the Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate:

  • any dispute relating to the interpretation and application of acts of the Community;
  • any dispute between Institutions of the Community and their officials;
  • any case dealing with liability for or against the Community;
  • cases of violation of human rights that occur in any Member State;
  • the legality of Regulations, Directives, Decisions, and other subsidiary legal instruments adopted by ECOWAS.

The Court's human-rights jurisdiction was newly introduced by the 2005 amendment.  A summary of the Court's human-rights decisions is available here.

Justices

The Court has 7 judges, listed here.

Quorum

3 judges, including the President.

Member States

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinee, Guine Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo (15).

Permanent Seat

Abuja, Nigeria.