Arusha, March 28, 2024 - The African Human Rights Mechanisms Nomination and Selection Initiative, also known as ‘the Arusha Initiative,’ announced a campaign to help identify qualified candidates ahead of the upcoming elections to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The aim of the campaign is to assist the State Party-led nomination process by identifying experts who meet the criteria for serving at the African Court. Given the current geographical composition of the Court, nominations are open from the East Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa regions.

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Members of the public are invited to share information about qualified experts through the following links, which are available in English, French, and Portuguese

The African Human Rights System consists of three mechanisms: the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Each mechanism comprises 11 members nominated by African States and elected by the Executive Council of the African Union.

By July 2024, three upcoming vacancies at the African Court need to be filled. Judge Ben Kioko (Kenya) completes his second term and should be replaced by a male judge from East Africa. Judge Blaise Tchikaya (Republic of Congo) and Judge Stella Isibhakhomen Anukam (Nigeria) are ending their first terms and are eligible for reelection to another six-year term. State Parties to the Court Protocol may however nominate other candidates for these two positions: a male from the AU’s Central African region and a female from the West African region.

Qualified candidates for this position must be individuals of high moral character with recognized expertise in human and peoples’ rights. Such candidates must have practical, judicial, or academic competence in human rights and be independent of political, diplomatic, or administrative functions in their countries.

The AU Office of the Legal Counsel will soon call for nominations from State Parties in the three regions. In anticipation of the nomination process, this campaign intends to identify qualified experts and share a database of those experts with States for their consideration during the nomination process. For more information and to participate in the Initiative, sign up here.

About the Arusha Initiative

The African Human Rights Mechanisms Nomination and Selection Initiative (the Arusha Initiative) is aimed at promoting human rights by supporting State Parties in the nomination and selection of members of human rights mechanisms in Africa. By doing so, the Initiative aims to contribute to greater effectiveness, independence and impact of the mechanisms. Learn more about the Arusha Initiative here.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Sophia Ebby

Ikechukwu Uzoma


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