African Court Judges
Current judges of the African Court
Justice Sylvain Ore (President), Côte d’Ivoire
Justice Sylvain Oré is a national of Côte d’Ivoire. He was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2010 for a four-year term.
He has been an Advocate and Member of the Ivorian Bar since 1998.
He is a holder of a Masters degree in Law and an Advocates Proficiency Certificate (CAPA) obtained from the University of Abidjan-Cocody. He is also a holder of a postgraduate degree (DESS) in Human Rights awarded by the “Institut de la dignité et des droits humains” of the Centre for Research and Action for Peace (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire).
He attended an advanced course in human rights litigation at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice in Abuja, Nigeria. He also pursued higher studies in international and comparative law of human rights at the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France).
In 2001, he won the public speaking competition for advocates, organised by the Ivorian Bar and was awarded the prestigious title of “Secrétaire de Conférence”.
Justice Oré is the author of a postgraduate dissertation on “The protection of human rights by the ECOWAS Court of Justice”.
Justice Ben Kioko (Vice President), Kenya
Justice Ben Kioko, a national of Kenya, was elected judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in July 2012 for a six-year term.
During his professional career, Justice Ben Kioko has practiced law and also acquired extensive legal experience and expertise working with the African Union and interacting with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as other intergovernmental and international bodies.
Prior to his election, Justice Ben Kioko served in the legal service of the OAU/AU in various capacities including serving as The Legal Counsel and Director of the AU Legal Department from 2001 to July 2012. During that period, he inter alia provided legal advice to the Commission, the AU policy organs and other AU organs and performed depositary functions for OAU/AU treaties. He was also responsible for the conduct of all elections by the policy organs, the drafting of agreements, clearing of contracts and preparation of reports for submission to the Executive Council and the Assembly of the Union. He also initiated annual meetings between the Legal Advisers of the AU and the RECs and also established collaborative arrangements with the UN Legal Counsel and UN Office of Legal Affairs and generally with the legal services of other United Nations (UN) System Agencies, the European Union (EU), World Bank, OAS, and Asian African Legal Consultative Organization and other international organizations.
He was also involved in the conceptualization; drafting and negotiation of at least 26 treaties adopted under the aegis of the OAU/AU since 1994 and the operationalization of the treaty organs established therein including those relating to the judicial organs of the OAU/AU. He was also involved in the drafting and negotiation of a variety of human rights instruments such as those relating to peace and security, instruments relating to the judicial organs of AU, preventing and combating corruption, rights of women, democracy, governance and elections, as well as the institutional architecture set out in the Constitutive Act and Statutes of ECOSOC aimed at involving the African peoples in the work of the AU.
With regard to the African Court on Human and peoples’ Rights, Justice, Justice Ben Kioko was part of the initial group that sought the Assembly decision on the matter in 1994 and subsequently met in Addis Ababa and Geneva under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists to initiate the Zero draft Protocol. He was responsible for convening all the meetings of Government experts and Ministers of Justice and presentation of the Protocol to the Executive Council and the Assembly.
Justice Ben Kioko serves as a member of the Advisory Board on Implementation of the Human Rights Standards Project, Human Rights Implementation Centre, University of Bristol, United Kingdom and member Editorial Board of several international Law Journals. He is also an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a recipient of two national awards in Kenya.
Justice Gérard Niyungeko, Burundi
Justice Gérard Niyungeko is a national of Burundi. He was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2006 for a term of six years (renewable once only). He served as the first President of the Court (2006-2008). He was re-elected for the second term as President of the African Court for the period 2010-2012.
Justice Gérard Niyungeko is a holder of a PhD in Law from the University of Brussels (1988) and a Professor of International Law, Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law at the University of Burundi.
He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Burundi (1979), a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Brussels (1983) and Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law (1984).
He served as a visiting teacher at the Summer Courses of International Humanitarian Law in Dijon (France, September 1992) and Nottwill (Switzerland, September 1994); at the University of Brussels (2002-2003); at the Hague Academy of International Law (July-August 2007); at the Ottawa University (January 2009) and at the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France, July 2010). From 1999 to 2003, Justice Gerard Niyungeko was the Chair-Holder of UNESCO Chair in Education for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Burundi.
He was the Vice-Rector of the University of Burundi (1997-2000); President of the Constitutional Commission of Burundi (1991-1992); President of the Constitutional Court of Burundi (1992-1996); Member of the Tribunal of the Preferential Trade Area of the Eastern and Southern African Countries (PTA) (1991-1996); Counsel before the International Arbitral Tribunal (Brussels, 1991-1992) and before the International Court of Justice (1999-2001 and 2002-2005); Consultant in the United Nations System (2001 and 2002) and within the African Union Commission (2005-2006). He is currently a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
He is the author of several works, including the following: Les droits de l’homme, cours destiné aux formateurs, Bujumbura, 1994, 92 p.; La preuve devant les juridictions internationales, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2005, 480 p.
Justice El Hadji Guissé, Senegal
Justice El Hadji Guissé, a national of Senegal, was first elected as a Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in January 2006 for a four year term which ended in 2010. He was once again re-elected judge of the Court for a six year term in July 2012.
Justice Guissé is a holder of Bachelor of Laws Degree in Private Law and a Diploma of the Judicial Studies Center of Paris. He is also a Graduate of the International Institute of Human Rights.
He has served in the judiciary in Senegal in various capacities. He respectively served as an Investigating Judge in Dakar, as the President of section of the Working Court, as Judge in the Exceptional Court of Dakar, as Judge of the Court of Appeal of Dakar, as Counsellor to the Court of Appeal, as President of Chamber to the Court of Appeal and Deputy Director of the Criminal Affairs and Favours.
Justice Guissé also taught Law at the National School of Administration of Judiciary, the National School of Police and the National School of Health.
Justice Guissé is a former Secretary General of the Senegalese Committee for Human Rights. He has also served in the national Committee for UNESCO. He also served as the Secretary General of the International Organisation for the Realization of Cultural Social and Economic Rights.
Justice Guisse has also served in the United Nations in various capacities. He was a Member, Rapporteur, Vice President and President of the UN Sub Commission on the Fight against Discriminatory Practices and the Protection of Minorities. He also served as a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Drinking Water and as a President of the Working Group on the Consequences of Activities of Transnational Corporations on Human Rights.
Justice Rafaa Ben Achour, Tunisia
Justice Rafaa Ben Achour, a native of Tunisia, was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in June 2014, for a six year term.
He is Professor Emeritus in Public Law at the Faculty of Law, Political and Social Sciences of the University of Carthage (Tunisia).
Justice Ben Achour is a holder of a Degree in Advanced Studies in Public Law obtained in 1978, a Degree in Political Sciences obtained in 1979, a Doctorat d’État (PHD) in International Law obtained in1984, and was admitted into the corps of lecturers in Public Law and Political Sciences in the University of Tunis in 1987.
He has been President of a University, Minister and Ambassador.
He has written several books and articles in law.
Until 2010, he was an AU expert on the transformation of the African Union Commission into the African Union Authority.
Justice Ben Achour was a member of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL). He is a member of the International Human Rights Institute in Strasbourg (2003).He was a founding member of the International Academy of Constitutional Law, where he was Secretary General from 1986 to 1996. He is an alternate member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law.
Justice Ben Achour was a Board member of the United Nations University from 2001 to 2007.
Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa, Uganda
Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa is a national of the Republic of Uganda. She was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in June 2014, for a term of six years.
Judge Bossa is a highly accomplished Judge with over twenty-seven years of legal and judicial work experience at national, regional and international level. She has considerable exposure and experience in international judicial practice, international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and constitutional law.
She has served as Judge with the High Court or Uganda for sixteen years (1997-2013). The East African Court of Justice for five years (2001-2006), United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) for nine and half years (2003-2013) and currently serves as Judge on the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court for Uganda.
Before joining the Bench, she was a Lecturer/Law Reporter at the Law Development Centre of Uganda for seventeen years (1981-1997). She has, been a human rights activist since 1980 and has founded/chaired non-profit Organizations in human rights like the East African Law Society. The East African Centre for Constitutional Development, the Uganda Network on HIV, AIDS, Ethics and the Law, the Uganda Law Society, among others. She has also chaired government bodies like the Law Council and the National Steering Committee on Community Service,
On the international scene, she is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, the international Association of Women Judges, the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights and the East African Judges and Magistrate's Association, among others. At national level, she is a member of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Uganda Chapter, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Uganda Association of Judges and Magistrates.
As a Bar leader, she is well trained on improving access to justice, constitutional and democratic governance, leadership skills, among others. She contributed significantly towards the establishment of the East African Law Society, the East African Centre for Constitutional Development (Kituo cha Katiba), and the Uganda Network on Law, Ethics, HIV and the Law. She also participated through the aegis of the International Commission for Jurists, in the initial stages of drafting of the Additional Protocol on Women to the African Charter.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) Honors from Makerere University. She is a candidate for a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) from the University of London. She has received various national, regional and inter-national awards in recognition of her distinguished services as a legal practitioner, judge and human rights activist.
Justice Angelo Vasco Matusse, Mozambique
Justice Angelo Vasco Matusse is a national of the Republic of Mozambique. He was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in June 2014, for a term of six years.
Justice Matusse holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and two Master’s Degrees in International Law, from Baku State University (1991) and in International Business Law from QMW College, University of London (1995). He has equally participated in several professional courses, such as Children’s Rights, Women’s Rights, International Environmental Law, Legislative Drafting.
As Deputy Attorney- General of Mozambique, he has served as State Advocate at the Supreme Court since 2007. He was Senior Advisor to the Attorney-General from 1998 to 2007 and, before that, he was in private practice.
He lectures on Public International Law, Human Rights and Transport Law at Eduardo Mondlane University, as from 1992, and is a resource person at seminars and conferences, having written and presented different papers such as “Judiciary Cooperation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)”, Luanda 2012, “Accountability of 1994 Rwanda genocide suspects in Southern Africa: The Mozambican perspective”, Johannesburg 2011; “The legal environment for regional integration: an introduction to SADC legal instruments and community law”, Maputo 2008; “Childhood poverty in Mozambique: A situation and trends analysis”. UNICEF, Maputo 2006.
From 1998 to 2007, he served as Resident Representative for AWEPA (1972 -1973) and a Professor at the International Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA).
Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue - Cameroon
Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue is a national of the Republic of Cameroon. She was elected Judge of the African Court for a six year term during the 27th AU Summit held in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Justice Mengue holds a number of educational qualifications, including: A Diplôme de l'Ecole Normale d'Administration et de Magistrature and a Licence en Droit Privé
At the professional level, she has worked in the judiciary of Cameroon since 1982, that is for over three decades now, holding a number of key positions, such as the President of the Court of Instance of Yaoundé, Vice President of the Court of Appeal; President of the Section on Administrative Contracts of the Court of Supreme Court of Cameroon. She is presently the President of the Commercial Section of the Supreme Court of Cameroon.
Justice Mengue is also a member of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedoms of Cameroon, where she has acted as Rapporteur on numerous occasions, and has specialised in thematic areas, such as the right to vote, the rights of detained persons, arbitrary arrests and the right to fair trial.
Justice Mengue has taken part in several national and international seminars and conferences, and is a member of a number of professional organisations, including the Association of Cameroon Female Lawyers and Christian Women Association of the Cameroon Presbyterian Church. She is fluent in both French and English.
Justice Marie Thérèse Mukamulisa - Rwanda
Justice Mukamulisa Marie Thérèse is a national of the Republic of Rwanda. She was elected Judge of African Court for a six years term during the 27th AU Summit in July 2016.
She has been Judge of the Supreme Court of Rwanda since 2003. She is also member of the High Judicial Council of Rwanda since 2015, as well as member of regional and international networks of Judges such as the International Hague Network of Judges (IHNJ).
Before her appointment as a Judge, she has occupied high positions including one of 12 commissioners who drafted the Rwandan post-genocide Constitution, a Visiting Lecturer in Comparative Law at the National University of Rwanda, Legal Counsel and Executive Secretary of CCOAIB (an umbrella group of NGOs in Rwanda) and SONARWA.
Following her law degree (Civil Law) from the National University of Rwanda, she received an LLB (Common law) from the University of Moncton in New Brunswick. She holds also a Masters in Genocide Studies and Prevention from CCM-NUR.
Source: African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, 2016
Coalition presents the new bureau of the AfCHPR
Hon. Justice Sylvain Oré from Côte d’Ivoire has been elected President to succeed Hon. Judge Augustino Ramadhani (Tanzania) and Hon. Justice Ben Kioko from Kenya was elected Vice President to succeed Hon. Lady Justice Elsie Thompson (Nigeria).
The term of office of Hon. Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) and Hon. Justice Duncan Tambala (Malawi) came to an end on 5 September, 2016.
The session also swore-in two newly elected Judges – Hon. Lady Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue from Cameroon and Hon. Lady Justice Marie Thérése Mukamulisa from Rwanda.
During the session, the Judges, among other things, will examine 70 applications and four requests for Advisory Opinions.
2. The Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.
Further information can be obtained from the Court’s website at www.african-court.org.
- New Judges appointed to the African Court
- Nominations and election of judges to the African Court
- Tenure of African Court Judges
- Candidates for new judges election in July 2010
- Profile Judge Gérard Niyungeko
- Profile Judge Modibo Tounty Guindo
- Profile Judge Sophia Akuffo
- Profile Judge Hamdi Fanoush
- Profile Judge El Hadji Guissé
- Profile Judge Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga