The ECOWAS Court of Justice has delivered 261 judgments on a total of 496 cases filed before the Court since its inception in 2003, the 2020 judicial statistics released by the Registry of the Court has shown.The report released by the regional court in Abuja said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Court was able to deliver 30 judgments in 2020 slightly lower than the 31 delivered in 2018 and the 38 in 2019, the highest number of judgments by the Court before the outbreak of the pandemic.
“The admirable performance of the Court despite Covid-19 pandemic is attributable to the implementation of the virtual session by the Court initiated by the management of Court under the leadership of its President Hon. Justice Edward Amoako Asante.
“The attendant advantages are in the areas of cost saving for lawyers and litigants, who would otherwise waste man hours travelling to the seat of the Court for the sessions,” the report said.
The statistics also showed that since inception, the Court has held 1102 sessions, delivered 261 rulings, issued 32 orders and four advisory opinions. Moreover, it rendered 19 decisions on revision out of the 35 applications for revision filed before it while 140 cases are pending.
The breakdown of cases filed before the Court showed a progressive increase from one filed for each of the first two years of 2003 and 2004, the number increased to six in 2005 and 21 in 2006. It dropped to 12 in 2008, improving marginally to 14 in 2009 and to 17 in 2010. There was a significant change in 2011 when the number of cases filed increased to 30, dropping to 25 in 2012 before increasing marginally to 27 in 2013.
There was a major increase in the number of cases filed in 2014 when the figure rose to 31, followed by 39 in 2015, 45 in 2016 rising further to 45 in 2017, 61 in 2018, 52 in 2019 and 55 in 2020.
According to the report, while the Court delivered one ruling in 2006, the number increased to four in 2007, but dropped to three in 2008 before increasing to 12 in 2009 before another drop to 11 in 2010, a number that was replicated in 2011. In 2012, the number of rulings delivered further increased to 19, but dropped to 15 in 2013 and 6 in 2014.
“There was a marginal improvement in 2015 when the number of cases filed rose to 10, but dropped to eight in 2016 dropping further to four in 2017 and two in 2018 before recovering in 2019 when the number increased to 10, before another drop to six in 2020.
“In the area of judgments, the Court delivered one in 2004 increasing to four the following year, with a slight reduction in 2006 to three followed a marginal increase to five in 2007 before dropping to four in 2009.
“In 2010, the figure increased to eight with a slight reduction to nine in 2011 doubling to 18 in 2012. But there was a drop in 2013 to 11 before increasing to 18 in 2014, 28 in 2015, 29 in 2016 and 19 in 2017, followed by 31 in 2018, 38 in 2019 and 30 in 2020,” the report added.
The Court resumed on January 11, 2021 from its 2020 Christmas and New Year vacation.