Justice on Trial: Courts and Commissions in West Africa
This edition of West Africa Insight looks at the ways in which justice is being sought, and delivered, in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and The Gambia. In Burkina Faso, Sampala Balima reflects on the September verdict handed down against the 2015 military coup plotters and asks if this verdict can be seen as the start of a new era in which the army remains distant from the states democratic institutions. The gradual decline of judicial independence and the increasing influence of political actors in Nigeria is discussed by Chidi Anselm Odinkalu in a piece that chronicles this process over time. In The Gambia, Sait Matty Jaw, looks at the ongoing work of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission and argues that the political environment is one factor making it very difficult to achieve the dual objectives of reconciliation and Justice. Finally, Tarila Marclint Ebiede assesses the ECOWAS Court of Justice's role in addressing human rights violations in the region and suggests what it can do better to deliver on its stated mandate.