Justice Ben 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 practiced law and also acquired extensive legal experience and expertise working with the African Union and interacting with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as other intergovernmental and international bodies.
Prior to his election, Justice Ben Kioko served in the legal service of the OAU/AU in various capacities including serving as The Legal Counsel and Director of the AU Legal Department from 2001 to July 2012. During that period, he inter alia provided legal advice to the Commission, the AU policy organs and other AU organs and performed depositary functions for OAU/AU treaties. He was also responsible for the conduct of all elections by the policy organs, the drafting of agreements, clearing of contracts and preparation of reports for submission to the Executive Council and the Assembly of the Union. He also initiated annual meetings between the Legal Advisers of the AU and the RECs and also established collaborative arrangements with the UN Legal Counsel and UN Office of Legal Affairs and generally with the legal services of other United Nations (UN) System Agencies, the European Union (EU), World Bank, OAS, and Asian African Legal Consultative Organization and other international organizations.
He was also involved in the conceptualization; drafting and negotiation of at least 26 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 peace and security, instruments relating to the judicial organs of AU, preventing and combating corruption, rights of women, democracy, governance and elections, as well as the institutional architecture set out 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, Justice Ben Kioko was part of the initial group that sought the Assembly decision on the matter in 1994 and subsequently met in Addis Ababa and Geneva under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists to initiate the Zero draft Protocol. He was responsible for convening all the meetings of Government experts and Ministers of Justice and presentation of the Protocol to the Executive Council and the Assembly.
Justice Ben Kioko serves as a member of the Advisory Board on Implementation of the Human Rights Standards Project, Human Rights Implementation Centre, University of Bristol, United Kingdom and member Editorial Board of several international Law Journals. He is also an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a recipient of two national awards in Kenya.