West African High Courts Establish Network -To Handle Electoral Disputes in ECOWAS Region

As Liberia prepares for general and presidential elections in 2023, constitutional and supreme courts within the West African subregion have concluded their first meeting on Electoral Disputes in Cotonou, Benin.

Concluding their meeting Thursday, June 9, 2022, participants of the West African High Courts in charge of Electoral Disputes ended Thursday, issued a Declaration, known as the “Declaration of Cotonou”.

According to the Declaration of Cotonou, the Constitutional Courts and Supreme Courts in charge of electoral disputes in West Africa have agreed, among other things, to create a network of West African High Courts in charge of electoral disputes; and set up a Steering Committee comprising member jurisdiction from the different linguistic zones, to include the Constitutional Court of Benin as Chairman; the Constitutional Council of Cote d’Ivoire; and the Supreme Courts of Ghana, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau as members.

Present at the meeting were members of the Constitutional Court of Benin, the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, the Constitutional Court of Niger, the Supreme Court of Liberia, the Constitutional Court of Togo, the Supreme Court of Ghana, the Constitutional Court of Cote d’Ivoire and the Supreme Court of Guinea Bissua.

Liberia was represented by the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah; and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Associate Justice, Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh.

The mandate of the Committee is, in liaison with ECOWAS, to assign a team of consultants to draft the fundamental texts (statutes and rules of procedures) and to receive observations from experts from the different linguistics zones as well as from all the constitutional jurisdictions within ECOWAS.

The first awareness of the West African High Courts started on Tuesday, 7 June 2022, in the capital city of Cotonou, the Republic of Benin.

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