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Women Chief Justices

Danièle Darlan

President of the Constitutional Court , 2017-

Central African Republic


Danièle Darlan is the first woman to lead a governmental institution in the Central African Republic. She was elected by the other nine members of the Constitutional Court in 2017 and is still fulfilling her seven-year, nonrenewable term as President of the Constitutional Court. Previously, Ms. Darlan was a professor teaching and researching public law at the University of Bangui, which she has been doing since 1982. Additionally, in the past, Ms. Darlan operated as a private lawyer defending her clients in the Central African Republic from 1995 to 2003 and working in the Department of National Education in the minister’s coordination office from 1986 to 1990. She was educated at the Universite de Perpignan Via Domitia in 1971-1975, where she received her master’s in public law and attended Universite de Provence-Aix-Marseille to receive her Juris doctorate degree from 1975-1978. Her most recent case regarded the postponement of a national election for the President of the Central African Republic due to the coronavirus. She affirmed the constitution and that the reform mandate proposed by the President to allow him to remain in office for a longer period was unlawful.

Martha Koome

Chief Justice, 2021-



Martha Koome was born in Kithiu village, Meru County, Kenya in 1960. Her parents were peasant farmers. She received her LLB from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and attended the Kenya School of Law in 1987, where she graduated with distinction and was then called to the bar. She received her LL.M in Public International Law from the University of London in 2010.

Koome’s career began at Mathenge and Muchemi Advocates as a legal associate. She soon opened a law firm that became one of Kenya’s most successful women's law firms. As an astute lawyer, she represented and defended persons charged with politically instigated offenses during the one-party rule of President Daniel Arap Moi in Kenya.

Koome was appointed as a Commissioner to the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of Children by the African Union Heads of States in 1995. Additionally, she served as Chairperson of the National Council on the Administration of Justice special task force on children matters and led discussions on the review of the Children’s Act.

In 2003, President Mwai Kibaki appointed Koome as a judge of the High Court, where she headed the family, environmental, and land division for eight years. During her active years as a High Court Judge, she also sat in satellite courts to clear a backlog of cases. Her excellence and hard work earned her an appointment as a Court of Appeal judge in 2012, the same year she was elected as the Chairperson of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association.

On April 14, 2021, Koome was shortlisted and interviewed publicly for the position of Chief Justice. She demonstrated a deep understanding of legal and social issues and proved to be a formidable candidate for the role. After being presented with her name, the President referred her to the Kenyan Parliament for vetting and approval. On May 19, 2021, the Parliament approved of her appointment and President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed her Chief Justice, making her the first woman to become a Chief Justice in Kenya.

Mabel Agyemang

Chief Justice, 2020-

Turks and Caicos


Mabel Agyemang has had an illustrious career in the judiciary within three Commonwealth jurisdictions working as a superior court judge. Mabel Agyemang received her undergraduate degree at the University of Ghana and attended the Ghana School of Law. Immediately following her graduation, Agyemang was called to the Ghanaian bar in 1987. She entered private legal practice from 1987 to 1991 before joining the judiciary of Ghana, where she worked in the judicial circuit and served in many different jurisdictions during her tenure.

In 1996, Agyemang became the Vice President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana, which she continued to serve in until 2000. It was in 2002 that Agyemang was elevated to the High Court in Ghana. She left her position in the Ghanaian court system to work for the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Commonwealth Secretariat is an association of 54 different countries originally rooted in the British Empire. Its mission is to support mission countries to enable collaboration for global challenges including, those of civil and criminal justice reform. It is in this area of the Commonwealth that Agyemang worked as an expert to the judiciaries of The Gambia and Swaziland as a High Court Judge from 2004 until 2014.

In 2013, Agyemang was appointed to become the first woman Chief Justice of The Gambia, though she was only able to fill the position for a year until 2014. In 2014, she left The Gambia after the President of The Gambia unlawfully terminated her services because Agyemang was attempting to reform the judicial system. She returned to her native Ghana after this removal and was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeals until 2020.

In April 2020, she was appointed by the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands to become the Chief Justice of the Turks of Caicos Islands, a position to which she is bringing her years of experience in the judicial field.

Nemat Abdullah Khair

Chief Justice, 2019-



Nemat Abdullah Khair is the Chief Justice for the Supreme Court of Sudan who serves as the head of the Sudanese judiciary. She is the first woman to serve as the Chief Justice for Sudan. She is originally from the state of Gezira in Sudan and was born in 1957. For her education, Khair went to Cairo University to receive a Bachelors in Law. Following her graduation, she became a member of the Sudanese judiciary in the 1980s. She worked in the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance in Sudan before joining the Supreme Court. She is also the founder of the Sudanese Judges Club. Khair was confirmed as the Chief Justice of Sudan in October 2019 after being selected by the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance.

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