The judgments of the ECOWAS Court, which are final and immediately binding, are vital for the realisation of ECOWAS aims and objectives. The enforcement of its judgments is particularly important in the case of individuals whose enjoyment of fundamental human rights, as guaranteed under the ECOWAS Community laws, is dependent on effective enforcement. Yet, an existential puzzling paradox emanates through a poor record in the implementation of the ECOWAS Court's judgments. This problem, which is not limited to the West African region deserves scrutiny and concrete proposals. Legal and political considerations surface in assessing the existence of this paradox, and despite the lack of a consistent political will, to implement the decisions of ECOWAS Court relevant judicial actors have roles to play. National courts could take a bolder approach in complementing the work of the ECOWAS Court. The ECOWAS Court itself could put in place concrete mechanisms and adopt certain practices to address this poor record of non-implementation. It is yet to be seen how substantive mechanisms would work in practice.
African Journal of International and Comparative Law – Edinburgh University Press
Published: Nov 1, 2020