Towards gender balance in African Court (of Human and People’s Rights)

For the first time in the history of AfCHPR, 5/11 member court will be female. Two newly appointed judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights(AfCHPR) will be sworn-in during the 44th Ordinary Session of the Court. This begins on 6 March, 2017 in Arusha at the head office of the court.

At the just-ended 28th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 30-31 January 2017, appointed two Judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for a period of six years.

The Judges are Hon. Justice Bensaoula Chafika from Algeria and Hon. Justice Chizumila Rose Tujilane from Malawi. The two are replacing Hon. Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) and Hon. Justice Duncan Tambala (Malawi) whose term came to an end on 5 September, 2016.

According to the press release from African Union, The two Judges will be sworn-in during the 44th Ordinary Session of the Court, soon in March, 2017 in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania.

For the first time in the history of the Court, there will be five female judges sitting on the 11-member court. The increased number of female Judges is the fulfilment of the adequate representation provided for in Article 12(2) and Article 14(3) of the Protocol establishing the court:

– Article 12(Nominations) 2: Due consideration shall be given to adequate gender representation in nomination process.

– Article 14(Elections) 3:  In the election of the judges, the Assembly shall ensure that there is adequate gender representation.

In the 42nd Ordinary Session held in september, the session saw two new judges, Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue from Cameroon and Justice Marie Thérèse Mukamulisa from Rwanda, sworn-in. The two were elected at July’s African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Court is composed of eleven judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity. The Judges are elected for a period of six years and can be re-elected for second and final term of another six years. The Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions. Up to 31 January, 2017; the Court had received 125 applications of which 32 have been finalized. Four applications have been transferred to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya



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