Ecowas’s zero tolerance for coups confab opens today in Banjul

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By Olimatou Coker

The Ecowas Community Court of Justice is holding a three-day international conference on Constitutional Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law in Banjul on the theme: Ecowas’ Zero Tolerance for Unconstitutional Change of Government.

A statement from Ecowas explains: “The Banjul convergence is expected to bring together the top echelon of the Ecowas Commission and Community Court of Justice, as well as legal luminaries, human rights activists and technocrats from across Africa and Ecowas partner institutions. The forum is also expected to be graced by President Adama Barrow and a host of local dignitaries.


“The Community Court of Justice was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the 1993 Ecowas Revised Treaty as the principal legal organ of the community. Located in Abuja, Nigeria, the court is composed of five independent judges appointed for a four-year non-renewable term. The court hears cases from all the fifteen member countries of Ecowas.

“The deliberations on the first day of the Banjul Conference would anchor on the rule of law, democracy and good governance with special focus on the Ecowas constitutional convergence principles. Delegates will also dissect the Ecowas policy of zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government including its related sanctions and implications and the role of military in a democracy, as well as discuss ways and means of building strong institutions and democratic culture in the sub-region…

“After the finalisation and adoption of the report on the fourth-day of the seminar, the Rapporteur General Marie Saine will present the final communiqué…  The Ecowas Court of Justice seeks to remain an independent, reliable, efficient and accessible legal and judicial institution of the community, playing a strategic role in establishing and sustaining an enabling legal environment for the achievement of Community aims and objectives. The Banjul Conference therefore forms part of efforts aimed at discharging and promoting its judicial functions of interpreting and applying community texts with a view to ensuring the protection of human rights in an efficient, timely and cost-effective manner with the support of well-trained and motivated staff,” the statement concluded.