RIP Justice Augustino Ramadhani

Justice Augustino Ramadhani, who died this week at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, had been the Chief Justice of both Zanzibar and of the United Republic of Tanzania. He had also served as a judge on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights from 2010 to 2016, and for the last two years of his term had been President of that court. That was not his only appointment to a regional court, however, and he had served as a judge on the East African Court of Justice from 2001 to 2007.

Among those offering tributes to Justice Augustino Ramadhani were his colleagues at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights where he had served from 2010 to 2016, and the Chief Justice of Uganda, Bart Katureebe. Justice Katureebe said he had learnt with ‘deep sorrow’ of the death of his former colleague in Tanzania, and he conveyed the condolences of himself and of Uganda ‘for this unfortunate loss of a distinguished personality.’

‘He has not only served his country, but the entire East African people. We shall dearly miss him.’

Justice Ramadhani, who was a good pianist, had an LLB from the University of East Africa, and a Master of Laws degree in international law from the University of Dar es Salaam. More recently, in 2004, he obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the University of London, and was an ordained minister of the Anglican Church.

He was initially involved in the Tanzanian army and reached the rank of Brigadier General. Justice Ramadhani was a Justice of Appeal in Tanzania from 1989 to 2010, during the last three years of which he was Chief Justice of Tanzania.

In his tribute to the former Chief Justice, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said he would be remembered for his ‘exemplary service’. Local media also quote the president as saying that Justice Ramadhani had worked for the good of his country. Tanzania’s Daily News notes that in February 2012 Justice Ramadhani received the Dr Martin Luther King Award from the US Ambassador to Tanzania, and a few months later he was appointed as vice chairperson of Tanzania’s constitutional commission.