A lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), George Baffour Asare-Afriyie, who is also a visiting lecturer at University of Ghana School of Law, delivered a talk titled ‘The ECOWAS Citizen’s And His Quest for Justice before the ECOWAS Court” at the University of Florida on Friday, September 8.
The public lecture was part of the African Studies Lecture Series organized by the Centre for African Studies at the University of Florida.
The lecture series aims to promote academic exchange and collaboration on issues related to Africa.
In his lecture, Mr. Asare-Afriyie discussed the role and functions of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which is the judicial organ of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional integration community of 15 member states in West Africa.
Mr Asare-Afriyie discussed the procedural rules and requirement for accessing the ECOWAS Court.
He also discussed the types of disputes that the Court can adjudicate, such as those relating to the interpretation, application, or legality of ECOWAS regulations, those that arise between ECOWAS and its employees, those relating to liability for or against ECOWAS, and those that involve a violation of human rights committed by a member state.
He also highlighted some of the challenges and achievements of the Court, such as its limited docket, its expansion of jurisdiction to include human rights claims by individuals, its enforcement of its judgments, and its contribution to regional integration and peace.
Mr. Asare-Afriyie further suggested some ways to make the ECOWAS Court more effective and accessible for the citizens of the region, such as increasing public awareness and education about the Court, enhancing cooperation and compliance from member states, strengthening the Court’s institutional capacity and independence, and harmonizing national laws with ECOWAS norms and standards.
The lecture was well-received by the audience, which included former and present faculty members of the Centre, students, researchers, and practitioners from various disciplines and backgrounds.
The lecture was followed by a lively question-and-answer session, where Mr. Asare-Afriyie engaged the participants on various aspects of his topic.
Mr. Asare-Afriyie’s research interests include ECOWAS law (regional integration law), Maritime Law, Conflict of Laws, Environmental and Immovable Property Law, Comparative law and Judicial Politics.