Justice Modibo Tounty Guindo of Mali and the African Court RIP

A veteran of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Judge Modibo Tounty Guindo, has died. He was among the group of judges that first set up the African Court when it began operations in 2006, and he served as that court’s first Vice President. At the time of his death he was a member of the constitutional court in his home country of Mali.

Justice Modibo Tounty Guindo, one of the African Court’s first senior judges, has died. He was 66.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights announced the death of Justice Guindo of Mali earlier this week, saying that he had died on Thursday, 4 June, following a short illness.

Judge Guindo had already served as a judge in Mali for 29 years before he became one of the first group of judges to serve on the African Court when it started work in 2006. Judge Guindo was also the first to hold the position of Vice President of the court and he served in that post from 2006-2008.

Pioneered

The court official statement added, ‘He will be remembered as among the first 11 judges who pioneered the work of the African Court …, and also for the enormous contribution he made in the judiciary in his country where he served as a judge for over 30 years.’

Just two years ago, he was part of a workshop in Mali, organised by the Max Planck Foundation with judges of Germany’s Constitutional Court. On that occasion, Justice Guindo spoke on the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Mali.

At the time of his death, he was a member of Mali’s constitutional court.

Historic

In his tribute, the African Court’s current President, Sylvain Ore, added ‘Justice Guindo’s historic work lives on and posterity will come to appreciate and recognise his contribution for laying the foundation to issues of protection of human rights on our continent.’

A colleague of Justice Guindo from his time on the African Court, that court’s first President, Justice Gerard Niyungeko, said, ‘As members of the court’s first Bureau we had the daunting task of establishing the court immediately and fully operational…. Judge Guindo gave me multiform support at all times. He made himself available whenever necessary, even as he continued his professional career in Bamako.’

The African Court noted that among other contributions by Judge Guindo, he had been an advisor in charge of human rights to Mali’s Ministry of Justice.

Loyalty

Justice Niyungeko, who wrote an additional tribute, said that Judge Guindo’s behaviour was characterised ‘by unwavering dedication and loyalty to the court’.

‘A man of few words, humble, never projecting himself, respectful of little ones, a keen observer, he was always listening to others and intervened only when it was strictly necessary, and in general, to unlock complicated situations.

‘I remember him as an honest colleague of integrity who became an endearing and loyal friend.’