The secretary general of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, Mustapha Turay, yesterday at his Rawdon Street chambers briefed journalists about the West African Bar Association (WABA) and the conference he attended in Senegal on behalf of his organization.
He said the objectives of the association were to strengthen professional links among members of the legal profession throughout West Africa: to maintain the honour, independence and integrity of the legal profession and to promote therein the highest standards of professional competence and ethics.
He added that the organization was set up to encourage and promote the maintenance of the rule of law and the independence, incorruptibility and impartiality of the judiciary.
The setting up of the WABA, he said, was to encourage and promote respect for human rights in the West African sub-region and the adherence to the international human rights instruments, particularly the African Charter on human and people’s rights.
Briefing journalists about the ECOWAS’ court of Justice, the secretary general added that it was created in pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS.
He maintained that, “the court is composed of seven independent Judges who are persons of high moral character, appointed by the authority of heads of states and governments, from nationals of member states, for a four-year non-renewable”.
On the mandate of the court, he stated that “it is to ensure the observance of law of principles of equity and human rights within the ECOWAS community. It is the principal legal organ of the community”.
Mr Turay further stressed that the court had been entrusted with the mandate of the interpretation and application of the texts of the community: the treaty, conventions, protocols, regulations, directives, decision and all other subsidiary legal instruments adopted by the community.
He added that, “cases are filed before the court through written applications addressed to the registry”.
The secretary general maintained that such applications must indicate the name of the applicant, the party against whom proceedings were being instituted, a brief statement of the facts of the case and the orders being sought by the plaintiff.
Mr Turay opined that decisions of the court were not subjected to appeal except in the cases of application for revision by the court.