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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A rights-protection goldmine or a waiting volcanic eruption? Competence of, and access to, the human rights jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice
Author:Ebobrah, Solomon T.ISNI
Periodical:African Human Rights Law Journal
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:international courts
access to justice
human rights
Abstract:In 2005, the Economic Community of West African States adopted an additional protocol to complement the 1991 Protocol establishing its Community Court of Justice. One of the high points of the 2005 Additional Protocol was the conferment of a human rights mandate on the Court. Since then, the Court has entertained some cases of a human rights nature. Based on an analysis of the documents and jurisprudence of the Court, this article examines certain issues relating to the competence of the Court - in terms of material, territorial, temporal and personal jurisdiction - and addresses the question of access to the Court. It concludes that, with its unrestrictive requirements, the ECOWAS human rights system may well be a gold mine for rights realization. However, there is a need for caution in the process of developing the system if the lurking dangers are to be avoided. Overzealous provisions likely to ignite tension between the ECOWAS mechanism and the domestic systems of member States may turn out to be the Achilles heel of the system if such provisions are applied in a manner that develops into a tension that threatens the sovereignty of member States. Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]