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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights



The Commission consists of 11 members elected by the AU Assembly from experts nominated by the state parties to the Charter. The Assembly considers equitable geographical and gender representation in electing the members of the Commission. Members of the Commission are elected for a six-year term and are eligible for reelection.

Once elected, the commissioners serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of their respective countries. Previously, some members of the Commission held high political offices at the national level, which affects the Commission’s independence. The AU in April 2005 issued a note verbale to member states prescribing guidelines for nomination of members to the Commission which excluded senior civil servants and diplomatic representatives.

Bureau of the Commission

The Commission elects its Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson as the Bureau of the Commission. They are elected for a term of two years and are eligible for re-election once. The Bureau coordinates the activities of the Commission and supervises and assesses the work of the Commission’s Secretariat. The Bureau is also empowered to take decisions on matters of emergency between the sessions of the Commission. It is however obligated to present a report on the situation to members at the next session of the Commission.

Secretariat of the Commission

The Chairperson of the AU Commission appoints the Secretary of the African Commission including other support staff necessary for the effective discharge of the Commission’s mandate. The Secretariat provides administrative, technical and logistical support to the Commission.

The Commission

The Information & Documentation Centre

The major goal of the Information and Documentation Centre (IDOC) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), is to provide appropriate, reliable, timely and efficient information services to the Commission, the Secretariat, and other users, as appropriate


Rules of Procedure

Rules of Procedure

Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 2020. Adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights during its 27th Extra-Ordinary session held in Banjul, The Gambia from 19 February to 04 March, 2020. The detailed activities and procedures of the Commission are regulated by its Rules of Procedure. The Commission adopted its first Rules of Procedure in 1988, during its 2nd Ordinary Session held in Dakar (Senegal) from February 2 to 13, 1988. The Rules were amended revised during its 18th ordinary session held in Praia (Cape-Vert) from 2 to 11 October 1995. With the advent of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Commission developed the 2010 Rules of Procedure. These Rules were approved by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during its 47th ordinary session held in Banjul (The Gambia) from 12 to 26 May.

A guide to the African Human Rights System

A guide to the African Human Rights System

This guide, published in 2001, provides an introductory background to the African human rights system