Two new judges to be sworn into African Court of Human Rights

Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, AfCHPR

Two new judges will be sworn into the Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) judges on Monday.

Judges Bensaoula Chafika from Algeria and Chizumila Rose Tujilane from Malawi will take oath of office on Monday as the court hold its 44th Ordinary Session at its seat in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania.

Judges Chafika and Tujilane were elected during the 28th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The judges replace Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz from Algeria and Justice Duncan Tambala from Malawi whose term expired in September, last year. Justices Chafika and Tujilane join Lady-Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue from Cameroon and Lady-Justice Marie Thérése Mukamulisa from Rwanda who were elected to the Court during the 27th AU Summit in October last year in Kigali, Rwanda.

The fifth female judge already at the Court is Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa who was elected in June 2014.

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 requirement for adequate gender representation provided for in Article 12(2) and Article 14(3) of the Protocol establishing the court.

The Court’s Judges are elected for a term of six-years and renewable once. The Judges, among others, will examine about 80 applications and four Requests for Advisory Opinion.

During the session, there will be two public hearings in the Application 003/2014 of Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire v Republic of Rwanda on 16 March and Application 012/2015 of Anudo Ochieng Anudo v United Republic of Tanzania on 17 March.

Up to January 31, the Court had received 125 applications of which 32 have been finalised. Four applications have been transferred to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Only seven countries have allowed NGOs and individuals to use the court in search of justice. The countries are Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania.

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Story By Kimeli Arap Kemei
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