The Court comprises of eleven Judges who are nationals of African Union Member States. Under Articles 11 to 14 of the Protocol establishing the Court, the Judges are elected by secret ballot by the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union from among jurists of high moral character and of recognised practical, judicial or academic competence and experience in the field of human and peoples' rights.
The current President of the Court is Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo (Ghana); the Vice–President is Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe (South Africa). The other Judges in order of precedence are Gérard Niyungeko (Burundi), Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria), Augustino S. L. Ramadhani (United Republic of Tanzania), Duncan Tambala (Malawi), Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson (Nigeria), Sylvain Oré (Côte d'Ivoire), El Hadji Guissé (Senegal), Ben Kioko (Kenya) and Kimelabalou Aba (Togo).
Profiles of Current Judges
Justice Augustino S.L. Ramadhani ( President)
Justice Augustino S.L. Ramadhani hails from the United Republic of Tanzania. He was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2010 for a six year term.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of East Africa (1970), a Master of Laws from the University of Dar es Salaam (1978) in International Law (the law of armed conflict) and a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of London (2004).
Immediately after obtaining his first degree Justice Ramadhani joined the Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces. After training in the Tanzania Military Academy, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and reached the rank of Brigadier General when he was voluntarily released in 1996 when Tanzania resumed multiparty democracy..
Prior to being appointed Judge of the African Court, Justice Ramadhani was a Justice of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1989 to 2010 when he retired after attaining the compulsory retirement age of 65 years. In his last three years on the bench he was the Chief Justice of Tanzania from 2007 to 2010. Justice Ramadhani was also the Chief Justice of Zanzibar from 1980 to 1989. He had served as a Judge of the East African Court of Justice from 2001 to 2007.
From 1993 to 2003 Justice Ramadhani was the Vice Chairman of the National Electoral Commission which conducts presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in the United Republic of Tanzania. He held the same position in the Zanzibar Electoral Commission from 2002 to 2007. He was the Chairman of Executive Council of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Commission Forum in 2006 and 2007.
He has published articles on Human rights, such as ‘Promoting a New Economic Order in Developing Countries: A Role for Human Rights Organizations’, published in Speaking about Rights (Canada Human Rights Foundation Newsletter), Vol. XI No. 3/1996, and ‘Electoral Process in a Multiparty Democracy’, a chapter in the book Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in Tanzania, (Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, 1978).
Justice Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson (Vice-President)
Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson is from Nigeria and was elected to the Court for a term of six years on 27th July 2010. She is a serving Judge of the High Court of Rivers State Nigeria. Called to the English bar in 1984 after an LLB Honours degree from the Queen Mary College University of London and Nigerian bar in 1985.
Judge Thompson, prior to her appointment as a High Court Judge was in active private legal practice for 20 years and worked on human rights cases. She has served in several associations notably the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) were she held several posts including Regional Vice President for Africa.
Judge Thompson is a resource person at seminars and conferences. She has presented several papers on women and children’s rights as well as other topical legal issues.
She is a member of the honourable society of Gray’s Inn and also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK.
Justice Gérard Niyungeko
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 Fatsah Ouguergouz
Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz is one of the inaugural judges of the Court as he was first elected as Judge of the Court for in 2006 for a four year term and then re-elected in 2010 for a six-year term.
Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz is graduated in Law from the University of Saint-Etienne (France) and hold a Ph. D. in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Law (Geneva, Switzerland).
He was Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Burundi (appointed by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, 2010-2011).
Until November 2006, he was Secretary of the International Court of Justice (The Hague) where he worked for 12 years. Before joining the World Court, he was a Legal Officer at the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations (New York) and then a Human Rights Officer in Rwanda for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Judge Ouguergouz taught Public International Law at the Law School of the University of Geneva for four years.
He is a former Orville H. Schell Fellow (Yale Law School), Guest Professor at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II, France) and Father Robert F. Drinan Professor of Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center (Washington D.C.). He is regularly invited as guest lecturer by numerous universities, international organizations, or other institutions like the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France) or the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR, Geneva).
Judge Ouguergouz is a founding member and the Executive Director of the African Foundation for International Law (The Hague) as well as Associate Editor of the African Yearbook of International Law. He is Member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of the African Human Rights Law Journal (Centre for Human Rights, Université of Pretoria) and of the International Law in Domestic Courts Online (Amsterdam/Oxford).
He is the author of numerous publications in the field of international law, including two books: The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights - A Comprehensive Agenda for Human Dignity and Sustainable Democracy in Africa (Nijhoff Publishers, 2003, 1016 pages) and La Charte Africaine des droits de l'homme et des peuples - Une approche juridique des droits de l'homme entre tradition et modernité (Presses Universitaires de France, 1993, 479 pages).
Justice Duncan Tambala
Judge Duncan Tambala, a national of Malawi, was elected judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in June 2010 for a six year term.
At the time of his election, Justice Tambala had just retired from the bench of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal on which he served from 1998 to 2009. He remains a Justice of Appeal for the COMESA Court.
Judge Tambala is a holder of Bachelor of Laws degree obtained in Malawi in 1972 and a Master of Laws Degree from Bristol University, United Kingdom in 1985.
He has served in Malawi as a State Advocate (1972 -1973), Resident Magistrate (1973-1979), Chief State Advocate (1985-1987), Director of Public Prosecution (1987-1989) and Judge of the High Court (1987-1998).
From 1995 to 2005, he was the chairman of the Inspectorate of Prisons in Malawi, and a member of the Special Commission to Review the Constitution of Malawi in 1998. Currently, he is Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Justice Tambala is the author of a Bench Book for Lay Magistrates published in 1995.
Justice Sylvain Ore
- 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 Master’s 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 organized 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 El Hadji Guissé
Justice El Hadji Guisse, 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 Ben Kioko
Justice 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 acquired extensive legal experience and expertise working with the African Union bodies, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including EAC, ECCAS, IGAD, SADC, COMESA, ECOWAS, and CENSAD.
Justice Kioko served in the legal service of the OAU/AU in various capacities rising to become the Chief Legal Adviser to the African Union Commission from 2001 to July 2012. As the Chief Legal Adviser to the Commission, he performed depositary functions for OAU/AU treaties, overseeing the drafting of treaties and agreements, contracts and preparation of reports for submission to the Executive Council and the Assembly of the Union.
While in the Legal Service, Ben Kioko initiated annual meetings between the Legal Advisers of the AU and the RECs and also established collaborative arrangements with the Legal Advisers of AU interlocutors particularly those of the United Nations (UN) System, the European Union (EU), Asian African Legal Consultative Organization and other international organizations.
He was also involved in the conceptualization, drafting and negotiation of 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 combating corruption, rights of women, democracy, governance and elections, as well as the architecture 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, Ben Kioko was part of the initial group that sought the Assembly decision on the matter in 1994, met in Addis Ababa and Geneva to initiate the Zero draft Protocol, and subsequently convened all the meetings of Government experts and Ministers of Justice prior to adoption of the Protocol by the Executive Council and the Assembly.
Justice Kioko serves as Member, Advisory Group on Implementation of the Human Rights Standards Project, Human Rights Implementation Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Bristol, United Kingdom; Member, Editorial Board, Commonwealth Law Journal, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, United Kingdom and Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa
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 Rafaa Ben Achour
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 Angelo Vasco Matusse
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 the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA).
Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo (President)
Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo (Ghana) was elected President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 18 September 2012 for a two-year term.
Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo was first elected as a Judge in 2006 for a two-year term and re-elected in 2008 for a six-year term. She was elected as Vice-President of the African Court in September 2008 for a two-year term and re-elected in September 2010 for a final two-year term. She is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana and a member of several organizations, including the Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.
Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo is the third President of the Court. The previous Presidents were Justice Gérard Niyungeko (Burundi) who served as the first President of the Court (2006-2008;2010-2012) and Justice Jean Mutsinzi (Rwanda;2008-2010).
Her publications include: The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process - The Ghanaian Experience, presented to the African Judicial Network, Ghana (2002).
Judge Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe
- South Africa
Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe, a national of South Africa, is among the inaugural Judges of the African Court. He was first elected as a Judge in 2006 for a two-year term and re-elected in 2008 for a six-year term. On 17 September 2013, he was elected Vice President of the Court.
Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe holds graduate (B.Juris) and post-graduate (LLB) law degrees. He practised law for more than 20 years in various fields, including that of human rights before his appointment as a Judge of the High Court in South Africa in 1995, and Judge President of the same Court in 1999. Justice Ngoepe has also acted as Justice of both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
In addition, Justice Ngoepe is the Chairperson of the Appeal Panel of the Press Council of South African, and also the Chairperson of the Appeal Board of the Medical Schemes Council of South Africa. He has also served as a member of the executive committee of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges.
Justice Ngoepe has received several awards in recognition of his contribution in the field of human rights, including three honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD). He was also appointed honorary Professor of Law and a post-graduate scholarship has been launched in his name. The society of advocates has also launched and named an award in his name.
Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe is the Chancellor of the University of South Africa since 2000.
Justice Kimelabalou Aba
Judge Kimelabalou Aba is a national of Togo. He was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 28 January 2013, by the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, for a year and a half (1½ year) term.
Justice Kimelabalou Aba holds a postgraduate Inter-university Diploma in Fundamental (Human) Rights from the University of Nantes, France. He also graduated in Magistracy at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Lomé (Togo). He, is also a, holder of a Master’s Degree in Business Law and a Degree in Private Law, both from the University of Bénin, Lomé (Togo). He also attended several trainings and seminars in the field of law, including trainings in fighting money laundering, funding of terrorism and cybercrime.
Prior to his election as a Judge of the Court, he was the President of the Court of First Instance, Vogan, in Togo. He also worked as Judge and Prosecutor, respectively, at the Court of First Instance in Lomé (Togo). He is also a Member of several committees in Togo, such as the ad hoc Committee that drafted legislation relating to information society in Togo, including cybercrime, electronic transactions and the protection of personal data.
Justice Jean Mutsinzi (2006-2012)
Justices Jean Mutsinzi is a national of Rwanda. He was elected Judge of the African Court in 2006 for a six-year term (renewable). He served as President of the Court for a term of two years from September 2008 to September 2010.
Justice Jean Mutsinzi holds a Doctorate degree in Law (PhD) from the University of Brussels (1964, Belgium). He is also a holder of other university degrees, including a preparatory Law Degree for the Doctorate Degree in Law obtained in (1961) and post-doctorate specialization degrees respectively in International Law (1965) and in Maritime and Air Law (1965). He is also a holder of a Diploma of the Research Centre of International Law and International Relations of the Hague Academy of International Law (1967), a Diploma of the United Nations Commission of International Law in Geneva (1970) and a Diploma of the International Development Law Institute (IDLI-Rome, 1985).
Before his election as Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Justice Jean Mutsinzi was a Judge at the Supreme Court of Rwanda (2003-2008). He served as the President of the Supreme Court and President of the Superior Council of the Judiciary of Rwanda (1995 -1999). He also served as the Executive Secretary of the Rwandan Constitutional Commission in charge of drafting the new National Constitution (2001-2003) and the President of the Investigating Committee of Independent Experts on the Downing of the President HABYARIMANA’s Plane on 6 April 1994.
Justice Jean Mutsinzi also assumed high ranking duties at the African level. He worked at the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as the Head of the Legal Research Section (1982-1984). From 1984 to 1987, he was in charge of the Office of the Chief Legal Adviser. During Mutsinzi’s tenure as OAU Chief Legal Adviser, the Office played a significant role in bringing OAU Member States to sign and ratify the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as in the establishment of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Between 1985 and 1989, Judge Mutsinzi was in charge of Staff Administration at the OAU Headquarters. From 1989 to 1994 he served as the Chief Executive of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, Gambia. As the Chief Executive of the Commission, he, set up its structures, sought financial support for its programmes on Human Rights promotion and protection.
During that period he also had the rank of Head of Diplomatic Mission. From July to December 1994 he was the OAU Representative at the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Western SAHARA (MINURSO). Judge Mutsinzi was also in charge of the Legal Office at OAU from 1994 to 1995.
Outside the OAU, Justice Jean Mutsinzi served as a Judge of the COMESA Court of Justice (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, 2001 – 2003). He was also a Barrister-at-Law at the Court of Appeal of Lubumbashi and the Supreme Court from 1967 and served as the President of the Bar Association of the same Court (1978-1982).
Justice Jean Mutsinzi was also a lecturer in various universities. He was in charge of the Research Section in the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels from 1965 to 1966. Between 1966 and 1973, he taught Public and Private International Law, Maritime and Air Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, etc. in the National University of Zaire. He has also been teaching Law at the Kigali Independent University.
Justice Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga (2008-2012)
Justice Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga S.C., a Uganda national, was elected a Judge of the African Court in 2008 for a term of six years. Justice Joseph Mulenga graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) in 1965. The following year he became a Barrister-at-Law of the Royal Society of the Middle Temple of London, United Kingdom.
Prior to joining the African Court, Justice Mulenga served in the East African Court of Justice (2001-2008), initially as Vice-President and finally as President of the East African Court. Before joining the regional courts, Justice Mulenga served in the national judiciary in Uganda. He first worked as a Public Prosecutor in the Department of Public Prosecutions in Uganda, rising through the ranks from Pupil State Attorney to Senior State Attorney. He also served as a Cabinet Minister, first as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and then, briefly, as Minister of Regional Co-operation (1986-1989). From 1997 to 2009, he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda (1997-2009).
Prior to the judicial appointments, Justice Mulenga practiced law at the Uganda Bar (1967 -1997). He was also well known as a private practitioner of Law and consultant for his private firm, Kampala Associated Advocates. In addition to the legal practice, Justice Mulenga participated in Ugandan politics and was once a member of parliament.
Justice Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga passed away on Wednesday 29 September 2012 in Kampala, Uganda
Justice Modibo Tounty Guindo (2006-2012)
Justice Modibo Tounty Guindo is from Mali. He was elected in 2006 for a term of six years. He served as the Court’s first Vice-President from September 2006 to September 2008.
He has previously worked as technical consultant at the Ministry of Justice, Mali, and served as a Judge at the Court of First Instance in Timbuktu, Mali.
Judge Modibo is a trained Judge, a graduate of the National School of Administration. Where he graduated with a Certificate in Magistracy.
He has been Judge for the past 29 years and has assumed various responsibilities both at the level of the Courts (President of the Justice of Peace, President of the Criminal Court, President of the Children’s Court; “Procureur de la République” (Attorney General), Puscine Judge at the Court of Appeal (the Civil Chamber, Rehabilitation Court) where he presided over sessions, President of the Trial Chamber, President of theLabour Court, Deputy Procureur General of the Appeal Court.
In the administration of the Judiciary, he was Advisor in the Ministry of Justice in charge of human rights; to that end, he presented the second Periodic Report of Mali on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Liberties before the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, he was a panellist in the United Nations inter-Agency Workshop on the human rights-based approach which started in 2002 in Stanford, the USA, he was an Expert at the Conference of governmental bodies in charge of human rights in Francophone countries, which held in Brazzaville from 25 – 28 April 2003; he proofreadthe draft document establishing the National Human Rights Commission, he was UNFPA Consultant for the realization of the Hurist Programme in collaboration with the OHCHR in Mali, in April 2003 for the implementation of the Project to strengthen human rights and support democratic institutions.
He was a Legal Consultant for the UNPFPA in Mali for civil status registration matters and this lead to the drafting of a new civil status legislation (laws and civil status registration documents).
Justice Kelello Justina Mafoso-Guni (2006-2010)
Justice Kelello Justina Mafoso-Guni is from the Kingdom of Lesotho. She completed her studies of law at the Universities of Lesotho and Edinburgh, before becoming Crown Counsel in her home country. She then moved to live and work in the United Kingdom, where she was a member of the civil service for 12 years. On her return to Africa, she served as a magistrate in Zimbabwe for a further 12 years, becoming the first woman to be appointed to the Bench.
Returning to Lesotho, Justice Kelello took up a position at the High Court Bench, another post to which she was the first female appointee. She was elected a Judge of the court in 2006 for a four year term.
Justice Hamdi Faraj Fanoush (2006-2010)
Justice Hamdi Faraj Fanoush is from Libya, where he is a respected judge of long standing. As well as being a member of Libya's Superior Council of Judiciary, he is currently Chief Justice (President) of the Court of Appeal in Tripoli. He was elected in 2006 for a four year term.
Judge Fanoush is a regular lecturer and trainer on human rights issues for the Libyan judiciary, and is generally dedicated to promoting human rights in his country.
Between 1984 and 1997, Judge Fanoush also served as Libya's ambassador to Cameroon.
Justice Githu Muigai (2008-2009)
Justice Githu Muigai holds a Bachelor's Degree in Law and was called to the bar in 1985. He also holds a Master's Degree in International Law from Columbia University School of Law, New York and a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law from the University of Nairobi.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a member of the American Association of Trial Lawyers. In addition to law practice, he is an Associate Professor of Public Law at the School of Law of the University of Nairobi. He specialises in public law, human rights and transnational legal practice.
Justice Muigai is also the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Justice George W. Kanyeihamba (2006-2008)
Justice George W. Kanyeihamba is a national of Uganda. He was elected Judge of the African Court in 2006 for a two year term. He holds a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Warwick, UK. He is a Professor of Law and held various positions in Uganda. He was a member of the Ugandan National Legislature, a Cabinet Minister, Minsiter of Justice and Attorney-General. He was also a Senior Advisor to the President on all aspects of governmental policy and actions in human rights and international affairs. He served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Uganda from 1997 to 2009. He is also the Chancellor of Kampala International University, Uganda.
In addition, he served as an expert in International Refugee Law at the Special Meeting of Government and Non-Government Experts of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This meeting was held on 27 to 29 March 2000, the 30th Anniversary of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, Governing Issues Relating to Refugees in Africa.
Justice Jean Emile Somda (2006-2008)
- Burkina Faso
Justice Jean Emile Somda is from Burkina Faso. He was elected in 2006 for a term of two years. At the time of his election, he was a member of the Constitutional Council of Burkina Faso. He studied Law and Economic Sciences at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal and obtained his Master in Laws in 1981.
He has held numerous posts, including Minister of Public Service and the Institutional Promotion of Burkina Faso, President of the Bobo-Dioulasso Court of Appeal and Legal Adviser to the Minister of Justice of Burkina Faso.