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

The Performance of Africa’s International Courts: Using International Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, (James Thuo Gathii, ed.), (Oxford University Press, 2020), 149-177.

35 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2018 Last revised: 16 Apr 2021

See all articles by Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: June 26, 2020

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.

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

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K41

Suggested Citation

Akinkugbe, Olabisi D., Towards an Analyses of the Mega-Politics Jurisprudence of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (June 26, 2020). The Performance of Africa’s International Courts: Using International Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, (James Thuo Gathii, ed.), (Oxford University Press, 2020), 149-177. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3186627

Olabisi D. Akinkugbe (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

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