ECOWAS Law-making Regime: Translating Community Acts into National Laws of Member States
A Regional Economic Community's (REC) success depends partly on the successful enactment of community laws and the subsequent effective implementation and/or adoption of said laws by member states. RECs have adopted different approaches to the enactment and operationalisation of their laws. Today, the concept of supranationalism has led to the enactment of REC laws that have a direct effect and direct applicability in member states. This has led to the favourable position where regional laws become immediately effective in member states of RECs without further ratification at the national level. To benefit from the new legal order, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has amended its Founding Treaty to empower its legislative arm to enact laws that have direct effect and direct applicability in its member states. This article examines the mode of translation of ECOWAS regional law into the national legal systems of ECOWAS member states to determine whether the ECOWAS Treaty successfully incorporates the principles of direct effect and direct applicability in its quest to attain supranationalism. Further, the article examines whether these two principles are compatible with the procedures laid down by the national constitutions of the REC's member states for effective translation of regional laws (or any other external laws) into their legal systems.
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