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PostHeaderIcon New Judges appointed to the African Court

During its 25th Ordinary Session held from 24 to 25 June 2014, the Executive Council of the African Union re-elected Justice Sylvain Oré (Côte d’Ivoire), and at its 23rd Ordinary Session held from 26 to 27 June, 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union re-appointed him for a six year term.

The Executive Council also elected three new Judges who were appointed by the Assembly for the same term.

The new Judges are:
- Mrs. Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda);
- Mr. Rafaa Ben Achour (Tunisia)
- Mr. Angelo Vasco Matusse (Mozambique).

The new Judges will replace Lady Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo (current President) from Ghana and Justice Bernard M. Ngoepe (current Vice President) from South Africa, who have served the statutory two terms required by the Protocol establishing the Court, and are thus not eligible for re-appointment, as well as Justice Kimelabalou Aba (Togo), who was not re- elected.

The new Judges will be sworn-in at a public sitting of the Court, on 8 September 2014, at the Seat of the Court in Arusha, Tanzania, in accordance with Rule 2(1) of the Rules of Court.

 

PostHeaderIcon Nominations and election of judges to the African Court

The Executive Council of the African Union Commission (AU) is due to appoint four judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court) during its 25th Ordinary Session at the 23rd AU Summit in July 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The terms of the following four judges of the African Court will end in July 2014:
• Justice Sophia A.B Akuffo (Ghana)
• Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe (South Africa)
• Justice Kimelabalou Aba (Togo)
• Justice Sylvain Ore (Cote d’Ivoire)

Among the four outgoing judges, only two are eligible for re-nomination and election only once, these are:
• Justice Kimelabalou Aba (Togo)
• Justice Sylvain Ore (Cote d’Ivoire)

The closing date for State Parties to submit nominations to the AU Office of the Legal Counsel is 30th April 2014.

 

CRITERIA, NOMINATION AND ELECTION

Criteria

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Protocol) and the Rules of Procedure of the African Court provide for the criteria of judges to be elected to the African Court:
• The judges of the African Court must be jurists of high moral character, with recognised practical, judicial and academic experience in the field of human and peoples’ rights;
• The AU Executive Council should ensure that the bench as a whole has a gender and regional balance;
• No two judges can be from the same country however States Parties to the Protocol may each propose up to three candidates, at least two ofwhom shall be nationals of that State;
• The bench as a whole should have civil, common law, Islamic, African customary and traditional law experience. States Parties to the Protocol may each propose up to three candidates, at least two of whom shall be nationals of that State;
• In order to be compatible with impartiality and independence, a judge must not hold political, diplomatic or administrative positions or function as legal adviser at national level.

 

Nomination and Election

The election of judges to the African Court is by secret ballot by the AU Executive Council (Foreign Ministers). The AU Executive Council should ensure that there is a gender and regional balance.

 

Which States can nominate candidates?

Only state parties which have ratified the Protocol establishing the African Court can nominate candidates, these are: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. In light of the current judges at the African Court, nationals of the following countries cannot be elected: Algeria, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Senegal, Burundi and Kenya.

The African Court Coalition encourages you to engage in this process and approach your respective governments in providing names of suitable and qualified candidates in order to have an effective, independent and impartial African Court.

We further encourage a good number of nominations of qualified female lawyers as there are presently only two female judges of which one is an outgoing (Justice Sophia Akuffo who is also the current President of the Court).

Also please circulate this information within your networks as much as possible.

Visit the link below to find a call for Candidatures/Nominations - Election of the Judges of the African Court published by the African Union in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

 
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