President Bio & Chief Justice Assure Readiness for ECOWAS Court International Confab

President Julius Maada Bio.jpg

By Amin Kef Sesay

In a gesture of diplomatic camaraderie, President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone received Hon. Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice, and his 12-member delegation at State House, Freetown. The visit, which took place on Monday, April 15, 2024, saw President Bio extend a gracious welcome to the esteemed guests, acknowledging their forthcoming international conference scheduled to be held in Freetown in May.

The delegation, led by Hon. Justice Asante, was met with hospitality as President Bio expressed gratitude for their visit and assured them of Sierra Leone’s commitment to facilitating a successful conference. The event, a flagship program of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, holds significant importance for the region’s legal community.

During the meeting, Hon. Justice Nicholas Colin Browne-Marke, Acting Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, emphasized the importance of hosting such esteemed gatherings and ensuring a warm reception for international guests. He underscored the significance of President Bio’s engagement, noting the responsibility of the host nation to extend hospitality and foster mutual understanding.

In his remarks, Hon. Justice Asante conveyed appreciation for President Bio’s audience and extended a formal invitation for him to grace the opening session of the conference. He commended Sierra Leone’s interest in the ECOWAS Court of Justice and applauded the government’s achievements under President Bio’s leadership.

President Bio, in turn, welcomed the delegation and affirmed his commitment to attending the conference, highlighting the warmth and hospitality of the Sierra Leonean people. He assured the guests of a pleasant stay in the country and reiterated Sierra Leone’s support for regional cooperation and legal frameworks.

As preparations for the ECOWAS Court of Justice’s international conference gather momentum, the visit serves as a testament to the strengthening ties between Sierra Leone and the wider West African community, fostering dialogue and collaboration on matters of regional significance.

In a recent development, Hon. Justice Nicholas C. Browne-Marke, Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, announced on April 15, 2024, the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming ECOWAS Court International Conference. During a meeting with Hon. Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the ECOWAS Court, Justice Browne-Marke expressed confidence in the National Coordinating Team’s readiness.

The Acting Chief Justice, along with the national team, provided an update on progress during the meeting, chaired by Hon. Justice Glanne Thompson (JSC). Justice Thompson highlighted the collaboration of key stakeholders including the Sierra Leone Judiciary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, National Revenue Authority, the Security Sector, Ministry of Health and the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

The National Coordinating Team has been diligently working to ensure the success of the conference by arranging accommodations, booking conference venues, and coordinating with various agencies. Dr. Yaebu Kargbo, representing the Ministry of Health, assured the provision of 24-hour medical support for participants, while Francis Langoba Keili from the Office of National Security outlined security coordination efforts.

President Asante commended Sierra Leone’s progress, emphasizing the inclusive efforts of all stakeholders. He highlighted the economic benefits for the host country, including financial injections into local businesses such as hotels and supermarkets.

The meeting concluded with a photo session involving President Asante, Chief Justice Browne-Marke, judges, and the organizing team.

The discussions in Sierra Leone follow a high-level delegation’s visit to Abuja, Nigeria, on April 14, 2024. Led by President Asante, the delegation engaged in talks with Sierra Leonean officials and the Bar Association to finalize preparations for the conference scheduled for May 13th to 16th, 2024, at the Freetown International Conference Centre.

The theme of the conference, “Enhancing the Role, Relevance and Effectiveness of the ECOWAS Court of Justice through the Strengthening of Synergies between the Court and National Stakeholders,” underscores the importance of constructive dialogue and collaboration among regional legal entities and national institutions.


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