"State Party" refers to African States that have ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. "Subsidiary Mechanism" refers to any mechanism established in accordance with Rule 23 of these Rules. "Third party" refers to any other party than the complaining or defending parties. "Union" refers to the African Union. "Vice-Chairperson" refers to the Vice-Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. "Working Language" refers to the working languages of the African Union. Part One General Rules Chapter I Status and Composition Rule 3 Status The African Commission is an autonomous treaty body working within the framework of the African Union to promote human and peoples' rights and ensure their protection in Africa. Rule 4 Composition 1. In conformity with 31 of the African Charter, the Commission shall consist of eleven (11) members chosen from amongst African personalities of the highest reputation, known for their high morality, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of human and peoples' rights, particular consideration being given to persons having legal experience. 2. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity. Chapter II Membership Rule 5 Term of Office 1. Members of the Commission are elected for six years and shall be eligible for re-election. 2. If a member of the Commission 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 3 of the African Charter, the member of the Commission elected to replace a member whose term has not expired, shall complete the term of his or her predecessor. However, if the remaining term of office is less than six months, there shall be no replacement. Rule 6 Order of Precedence 1. In the discharge of their duties, members of the Commission shall follow the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson according to their seniority in office. When there are two or more members of the Commission with equal seniority, precedence shall be given to the oldest. 2. A member of the Commission who is re-elected to a new term of office which is continuous with his/her previous term shall retain his/her precedence. Rule 7 Incompatibility 1. The position of member of the Commission is incompatible with any activity that might interfere with the independence or impartiality of such a member or demands of the office such as a member of government, a Minister or under-secretary of State, a diplomatic representative, a director of a ministry, or one of his subordinates, or the legal adviser to a foreign office or any other political binding function or participate in any activity of the nature that will compromise the independence and impartiality. 2

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