The 34th African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit on Friday, 5 February 2021, has appointed two new Judges as members of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The newly elected Judges are: Hon Justice Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza SC from the Republic of South Africa and Hon Justice Modibo Sacko from the Republic of Mali.

At the same Summit, Hon Justice Rafaâ Ben Achour from the Republic of Tunisia and Hon Lady-Justice Imani Daud Aboud from the United Republic of Tanzania were re-elected. They will serve for the second and final term of six years as required under Article 15 of the Protocol establishing the Court.

The newly elected Justices are replacing Hon Justice Sylvain Oré from the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (2010-2021), the current President of the Court, and Hon Justice Justice Ângelo Vasco Matusse (2014-2021) from the Republic of Mozambique.

The newly elected Judges will be sworn-in during the 61st Ordinary Session scheduled for June 2021.

The President of the Court, Hon Justice Oré, has warmly received the election of the two new Judges (Ntsebeza and Sacko), and re-election of Justices Achour and Aboud, and said that  the Court is fully convinced of their deep commitment to human rights and to further strengthen protection of human rights in Africa.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.

The Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is a regional human rights tribunal with advisory and contentious jurisdiction.  

It decides complaints brought by the African Commission, intergovernmental organizations, and States against the 26 States that have ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and may also decide individual and non-governmental organizations’ complaints against the seven States that have accepted this mechanism. 

The Court decided its first case in December of 2009.


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