Measuring the Quality of the International Judiciary: The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice

Adeosun, Adedamola (2023). Measuring the Quality of the International Judiciary: The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice. PhD thesis The Open University.



The ever-growing and increasingly important role played by international courts in the administration of justice has necessitated the assessment of the quality of their decision-making process and other concepts relating to the performance of these courts, even more so in the case of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (the ECOWAS Court or the Court), the regional court for West Africa, which has become a go-to alternative for litigants who do not have faith in the judiciaries in their member states.

Yet, the quality of these international courts has not attracted substantial scholarly attention. With a primary focus on the ECOWAS Court, this thesis assesses the independence, accountability and transparency of the judiciary as variables for measuring the quality of international courts.

This thesis critically analyses the quality of the ECOWAS Court in terms of the composition of the Court, its decision-making process, and its judgement in comparison to the European Court of Human Rights and the domestic courts in the ECOWAS member states. It aims to provide a thorough examination of the quality of the ECOWAS Court while considering its legal regime, the practices within the Court, and its interaction with the parent organisation, ECOWAS, and other stakeholders.

This thesis adopts the doctrinal approach of legal research to analyse the various treaties, protocols, supplementary protocols, directives and decisions of the ECOWAS Court and those of the other courts assessed. To achieve a synthesised comparison between the ECOWAS Court and other international and domestic courts, comparative methodology, which investigates the legal implications of a legal issue in different jurisdictions or institutions, is adopted.

Ultimately, this thesis identifies the gaps in the Court’s legal regime and offers recommendations for enhancing its quality and initiating reforms in the legal regime of the ECOWAS Court.

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