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Commissioners from Middle East & North Africa

Hadeel Abdel Aziz
Hadeel Abdel Aziz – Jordan
Hadeel is a leading activist and human rights defender in Jordan. She’s the Executive Director of the Justice Center for Legal Aid. Established in 2008, JCLA is a Jordanian NGO that’s the largest legal aid provider in Jordan, providing legal aid services at 16 clinics located across all 12 governorates to marginalized groups, including refugees, migrants, and domestic workers.


Mazen Darwish

Mazen Darwish – Syria


Gamal Eid
Gamal Eid – Egypt
A prominent lawyer and human rights defender in Egypt and the Arab world, Gamal Eid is the founder and director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, founded in 2003 to promote freedom of expression, campaign against censorship in the Arab region, and provide legal assistance to journalists and free speech activists. As a result of his work as a lawyer and human rights defender, including his legal representation of those suspected of opposing the military regime in Egypt, Eid was subjected to a constant campaign of harassment and intimidation, including arrest, travel ban, defamation campaigns and unfair criminal proceedings. His office, telephone communications and e-mails have also been under constant surveillance by Egyptian security forces.


Nahla Haidar
Nahla Haidar El Addal – Lebanon
Nahla Haidar is a prominent Lebanese jurist. She’s the Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), of which she has been a member since 2013. Member of the Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol to the Convention (2015-2016 & 2019-2020). Member of the Working Group on inquiries (2017-2018). CEDAW’s Rapporteur on Reprisals since July 2018. Nahla has over 35 years of professional experience mainly within the United Nations System, in various capacities, both at headquarters and in the field, ranging from social development, to relief coordination, to peace-building and to development cooperation. She holds an LLM in Law from Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, and Law degree in International Law from Saint Josef University in Beirut Lebanon and a licence in Sociology. Arabic is her mother tongue and she is fluent in French and English.


Kalthoum Kennou
Justice Kalthoum Kennou – Tunisia
Kalthoum Kennou is currently serving her second term as Commissioner, having been elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2016. She is a Judge of the Tunisian Cassation Court. She previously served as an investigating Judge at the Tribunal of Tozeur in Tunisia (2010 – 2012), an investigating Judge at the Tribunal of Kairouan (2005 – 2010) and a Judge at the Court of Appeal of Tunis (2001-2005). She has been the President of the Tunisian Judges’ Association since 2011, and served as its Secretary-General in 2005. She is a strong advocate in support of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Tunisia, where she has been the subject of professional and personal attacks as the result of her work.


F Ouguergouz
Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz – Algeria
Fatsah Ouguergouz is serving his first term as an ICJ Commissioner, having been elected in March 2015. Justice Ouguergouz is a former Vice-President of and one of the inaugural judges of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, first elected in 2006 and then re-elected in 2010 for a six-year term. He graduated in Law from the University of St. Etienne in France and has a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Law in Geneva. He has taught Public International Law at the University of Geneva, has served as a Human Rights Officer in Rwanda for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, worked as Legal Officer at the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York and was Secretary of the International Court of Justice at the Hague.


Michael Sfard
Michael Sfard – Israel
Michael Sfard is an Israeli lawyer specializing in international human rights law and the laws of war with a special emphasis on belligerent occupation. He has served as counsel in numerous important cases on these topics in Israel, including the successful litigations for the removal of settlement built on private Palestinian lands, petitions concerning the Separation Barrier, and the challenge to the Israeli policy of targeted killings. He is the legal adviser to serveral Israeli human rights and humanitarian organizations as well as peace groups 8such as Yesh Din, Peace Now, Breaking the Silence, Comet Middle-East and the Human Rgihts Defenders Fund). He also represents Palestinian communities and Israeli and Palestinian activists. Sfard grew up in Jerusalem, served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a military paramedic, he was a conscientious objector and spent three weeks in military prison because of his refusal to serve in Hebron. Sfard is a graduate of the law faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and he retained his MA degree from the University College of London (LL.M. in international human rights law). Sfard won the Emille Grintzwedig Human Rights Award for 2012. In 2014 he won a fellowship with the Open Society Foundations for a project examining human rights litigation in Israel related to the occupied Palestinian territories. Sfard has written a number of books and articles that have been widely published in Israel, the US and Europe.


Marwan Tashani
Justice Marwan Tashani – Libya