The African Union has appointed Justice Bensaoula Chafika from Algeria and Justice Chizumila Rose Tujilane from Malawi to serve on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for a six year period.
The two replace Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) and Justice Duncan Tambala (Malawi) whose term came to an end on September 5, last year.
The AU appointed the two at the just-ended 28th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to African Court statement made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, the two Judges would be sworn-in during the 44th Ordinary Session of the Court slated for March 6, 2017 in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania.
Other Judges of the African Court are: Justice Sylvain Ore (President) – Côte d’Ivoire; Justice Ben Kioko (Vice President),Kenya; Justice Gérard Niyungeko, Burundi; Justice El Hadji Guissé, Senegal; and Justice Rafaa Ben Achour, Tunisia.
The rest are; Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa, Uganda; Justice Angelo Vasco Matusse, Mozambique; Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue, Cameroon; and Justice Marie Thérèse Mukamulisa, Rwanda.
According to the statement, for the first time in the history of the Court, there would 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.
The African Court is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.
It was established by virtue of Article 1 of 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) which was adopted by Member States of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998.
The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004.
The Court has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Charter), the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned.
Specifically, the Court has two types of jurisdiction: contentious and advisory.