Title

Towards an Analyses of the Mega-Politics Jurisprudence of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2020

Keywords

Africa's International Courts, ECOWAS, Regional Economic Community Courts, Mega-Politics

Abstract

The judicialization of mega-political disputes before the ECOWAS Community Court is understudied. The ECOWAS Community Court lacks express mandate to adjudicate over political disputes. Despite this limitation, the court has been innovative in assuming jurisdiction over mega-political disputes where they are intertwined with potential or actual human rights violation. The Ugokwe Doctrine, enunciated in the case of, Dr. Jerry Ugokwe v. The Federal Republic of Nigeria and Dr. Christian Okeke, provides the precedential ‘cause of action’ for the judicialization of mega-political disputes before the ECOWAS Community Court. This chapter addresses this new body of jurisprudence by critically analyzing judicialized political disputes before the ECOWAS Community Court. Unlike the traditional scholarship that measures effectiveness based on compliance with the decisions of the courts, the Chapter contends that the significance of the mega-political disputes judicialized before Africa’s regional courts derives from the instrumental objectives of the litigants. By incorporating the social, political, and economic contexts that gave rise to the Francophone and Anglophone cases disputes analyzed, the Chapter illuminates the judicialization of mega-political disputes in ways that are not wedded to the traditional analyses of the functions of regional economic courts.

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