Economic integration

Regional Economic Integration in ECOWAS | The Guardian Nigeria News

Sir: I was delighted to read the article titled “The President of the ECOWAS Court wants to harmonize the judicial systems of the Member States”, published in The Guardian of February 25, 2022, and in which Hon. The judge reportedly said that “it is…of the utmost importance that ECOWAS Member States adopt the Revised ECOWAS Treaty and the Protocols and Supplementary Acts of the Community”.

As someone who has researched for some time on ECOWAS and the regional economic integration process, I think Hon. The judge deserves credit for speaking out. In fact, many of the problems slowing down the aforementioned integration process seem to have their origins in the fact that the main legal instruments of the Community come into force without being ratified by all the Member States.

This falls short of the requirements of the Community legal system. It is hoped that relevant stakeholders, including political leaders, legal practitioners, academics and the press, will follow the example of the Honorable Judge in the interest of “achieving a Community legal regime which supports the region’s integration objectives.

That being said, let me take this opportunity to share with you a website “wareiobs.com” which aims to promote “community law” in West Africa, by improving understanding of free movement rules within the framework of a common market. You will notice that the website fully agrees with the views of the judge. The last article entitled “Entry into force of the ECOWAS Protocols and Supplementary Acts” explains why it is absolutely necessary that these legal instruments be examined and ratified by all Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional rules before their entry into force.

The website also addresses some of the other issues mentioned by the Honorable Judge, such as the relationship between the Community Court and national courts, as described by the Hon. judged as “a crucial element in the ECOWAS integration process”, or the execution of judicial decisions at the national level. I hope you find the website useful.

Naturally, I would be grateful if you could publish in your newspaper of wide circulation the articles which you consider appropriate, in order to enlighten the public more about the functioning of a regional economic community. A response would be appreciated. Thank you.

Iheukwumere Duru