Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts of Member States on Friday ended their second meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, with the adoption of the Rules of Procedure for the Community Judicial Council.
The council, which comprises the Chief Justices of the 15 Member States, was set up by heads of state and governments on June 14, 2006 to contribute to the proper functioning of the restructured Community Court of Justice.
The 24-page rules of procedure established the modalities for the operations of the council in supporting the functioning of the court particularly in the areas of the recruitment and discipline of the Judges
At the opening of the two-day meeting on Thursday, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, described the council as the “institutional framework for bringing together the Chief Justices of the Community and involving them in the decision-making process of ECOWAS. “Your Lordships sitting in council will now be responsible for the recruitment of Judges to our highly esteemed Community Court of Justice and to guarantee the strict observance by these Judges of high moral standards during their tenure of office,” he added.
He said the suggestions contained in the draft rules would make it possible to maintain the highest standards among the Judges of the Court and along with the relevant Protocol of the court help check arbitrariness ensure transparency and help guarantee objectivity.
The rules were initially considered over three days by the Legal and Judicial Affairs Committee, a committee of legal experts from member states.
The legal experts meeting also considered and approved a proposal by the commission for the revision of an article in the Revised Treaty to allow regional instruments to be implemented on ratification by eight instead of nine member states.