ECOWAS Court holds training programme for Sierra Leonean lawyers, law students

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Justice Edward Asante, President of ECOWAS Court (middle) flanked by Eddinia Swallow, President of Sierra Leone Bar Association (3rd right); Justice Sengu Koroma of ECOWAS Court (2nd right); Dr Yaouza Ouro-Sama, Chief Registrar (2nd left), as well as members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

By Mark Longyen

The ECOWAS Court has organized a training programme for lawyers and law students from Sierra Leone scheduled to hold during the court’s May 13th-16th 2024 international conference in the country.

The president of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Edward Asante, disclosed this during a meeting with the executive of the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) in the country’s capital, Freetown.

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The spokesman of the ECOWAS Court, Felicien Hounkanrin, in a statement quoted Justice Asante as saying that the training aimed to deepen the beneficiaries’ knowledge for improved practice.

“The training would hopefully close the lacuna in the knowledge of the Court among legal practitioners from the country, based on the realisation that most of the lawyers appearing before the Court for cases from Sierra Leone were from outside the country.

“The President said it will provide a forum to generate constructive discussions around the strengths and weaknesses of the Court’s relationship with various national stakeholders and propose practical solutions for the enhancement of the role, relevance and effectiveness of the Court.

“Justice Asante urged the leadership of the SLBA to help with the process for the successful conduct of the training and urged them to work in collaboration with other relevant bodies in the country, including the leadership of the law school to streamline the participation and other elements of the training,” Hounkanrin said.

According to Hounkanrin, the resource persons for the training will be drawn from senior lawyers from the Court, who will be attending the conference.

The CCJ spokesman said that the President of the SLBA, Eddinia Swallow, would deliver the goodwill message at the conference, which he noted, would be historic.

He explained that this would be so because it would be the first time that the President of a country’s bar association would be allowed to deliver such a message since the inaugural conference in 2004.

Hounkanrin said that earlier, the President of the SLBA thanked the Court for the ‘amazing opportunity,’ which it granted the country to host the conference.

He described the event as the fulfilment of a dream for her and members of the legal profession in the country.

The SLBA President promised that the Court would work with the bar associations of member states to sensitize lawyers on the specificities of the Court in order to improve their practice.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that theme of the conference is: “Enhancing the role, relevance and effectiveness of the ECOWAS Court of Justice through the strengthening of synergies between the Court and national stakeholders.”

Justice Asante is leading a 12-member delegation of the Court to discuss arrangements for the successful hosting of the conference(NAN)

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