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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights - Rules of Procedure

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Chapter III - Members of the Commission

Rule 11 - Composition of the Commission

The Commission shall be composed of eleven (11) members elected by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government hereinafter referred to as "the Assembly", in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Charter.

Rule 12 - Status of the Member

1. The members of the Commission shall be eleven (11) personalities appointed in conformity with the provisions of Article 31 of the Charter.

2. Each member of the Commission shall sit on the Commission in a personal capacity. No member may be represented by another person.

Rule 13 - Term of Office of the Members

1. The term of office of the members of the Commission elected on 29 July 1987 shall begin from that date. The term of office of the members of the Commission elected at subsequent elections shall take effect the day following the expiry date of the term of office of the members of the Commission they shall replace.

2. However, if a member is re-elected at the expiry of his or her term of office, or elected to replace a member whose term of office has expired or will expire, the term of office shall begin from that expiry date.

3. In conformity with Article 39 (3) of the Charter, the member elected to replace a member whose term has not expired, shall complete the term of office of his or her predecessor, unless the remaining term of office is less than six (6) months. In the latter case, there shall be no replacement.

Rule 14 - Cessation of Functions

1. If in the unanimous opinion of the other members of the Commission, a member has stopped discharging his duties for any reason other than a temporary absence, the Chairman of the Commission shall inform the Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, who shall then declare the seat vacant.

2. In case of the death or resignation of a member of the Commission, the Chairman shall immediately inform the Secretary General who shall declare the seat vacant from the date of the death or from that on which the resignation took effect. The member of the Commission who resigns shall address a written notification of his or her resignation directly to the Chairman or to the Secretary General and steps to declare his or her seat vacant shall only be taken after receiving the said notification. The resignation shall make the seat vacant.

Rule 15 - Vacant seat

Every seat declared vacant in conformity with Rule 14 of the present Rules of Procedure shall be filled on the basis of Article 39 of the Charter.

Rule 16 - Oath

Before coming into office, every member of the Commission shall make the following solemn commitment at a public sitting. "I swear to carry out my duties well and faithfully in all impartiality".

Chapter IV - Officers

Rule 17 - Election of Officers

1. The Commission shall elect among its members a Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

2. The elections referred to in the present Rule shall be held by secret ballot. Only the members present shall vote, the member who shall obtain the two-thirds majority of the votes of the members present and voting shall be elected.

3. If no member obtains this two-thirds majority in a second, third and fourth ballot, the member having the highest number of votes at the fifth ballot shall be elected.

4. The officers of the Commission shall be elected for a period of two (2) years. They shall be eligible for re-election. None of them, may, however, exercise his or her functions if he or she ceases to be a member of the Commission.

Rule 18 - Power of the Chairman

The Chairman shall carry out the functions assigned to him by the Charter, the Rules of Procedure and the decisions of the Commission. In the exercise of his functions the Chairman shall be under the authority of the Commission.

Rule 19 - Absence of the Chairman

1. The Vice Chairman shall replace the Chairman during a session if the latter is unable to attend a whole or part of a sitting of a session.

2. In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice Chairman, members shall elect an acting Chairman.

Rule 20 - Functions of the Vice Chairman

The Vice Chairman, acting in the capacity of the Chairman, shall have the same rights and the same duties as the Chairman.

Rule 21 - Cessation of the Functions of an Officer

If any of the officers ceases to carry out his or her functions or declares that he or she is no longer able to serve as an officer or exercise the functions of a member of the Commission, a new officer shall be elected for the remaining term of office of his or her predecessor.

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