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On the Modest Impact of West Africa’s International Human Rights Court on the Executive Branch of Government in Nigeria

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posted on 2023-10-16, 19:04 authored by Obiora Chinedu Okafor, Udoka Owie, Okechukwu (Jake) EffoduhOkechukwu (Jake) Effoduh, Rahina Zarma

Some scholars have criticized international courts in Africa as ineffective given their limited success in compelling or cajoling state behavior. Others have since argued that there are additional ways in which these courts have mattered to state and society in Africa. This Article applies the “correspondence theory” on the domestic impact of international human rights institutions. This Article analyzes evidence of the broader ways, compliance included, in which West Africa’s international human rights court, the Economic Community of West African States’ Community Court of Justice (the “ECOWAS Court”), has had a significant, if sub-optimal, impact on executive branch decision-making and action within Nigeria, the country where most ECOWAS cases originate. The Article further explains the reasons for the suboptimal nature of the ECOWAS Court’s impact in Nigeria and concludes by offering a prolegomenon to a theory on the domestic impact of this regional court.

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