A Kenyan has been elected vice-president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
Justice Ben Kioko was named following the election of new bureau at the court in Arusha, Tanzania, on Monday.
Judge Sylvain Ore from Cote d’Ivoire was named president, succeeding Justice Augustino Ramadhani from Tanzania whose term ended on September 5.
The ACHPR started its 42nd Ordinary Session on Monday. The session ends on September 16. The session also saw two new judges, Justice Ntyam Ondo Mengue from Cameroon and Justice Marie Thérése Mukamulisa from Rwanda, sworn-in.
The two were elected at last month’s African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
The terms of office for Justice Elsie Thompson (Nigeria), who was the vice-president, Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) and Justice Duncan Tambala (Malawi) also ended on September 5.
The court, which meets four times a year and may hold extraordinary sessions, is made up of 11 judges elected in their individual capacity from African Union member states.
The judges’ session that started on Monday will examine about 60 applications and four requests for advisory opinions.
EXTENSIVE LEGAL EXPERIENCE
Justice Kioko, who was elected judge of the ACHPR in July 2012 for a six-year term, has extensive legal experience and expertise, having worked with several African Union bodies and the regional economic communities including East Africa Community, Igad, Comesa and Ecowas among others.
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.
He was also involved in the conceptualisation, drafting and negotiation of treaties adopted under the aegis of the OAU/AU since 1994 and the adoption of the treaty organs.
He was also involved in the drafting and negotiation of human rights instruments relating to combating corruption, the rights of women, democracy, governance and elections.
On the ACHPR, Justice 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 of Advisory Group on Implementation of the Human Rights Standards Project, Human Rights Implementation Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Bristol in the United Kingdom; member of the editorial board of the Commonwealth Law Journal, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, United Kingdom; and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.