Retired judge Renaud reappointed as chair of Seychelles Human Rights Commission

General |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | July 9, 2024, Tuesday @ 09:14| 2368 views

The first to take the judicial oath of allegiance was Renaud for his second mandate as the chairman of the Seychelles Human Rights Commission. (State House) 

Bernadin Renaud and Elvis Julie were sworn in as the chairman of the Seychelles Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and a member of the Electoral Commission, respectively, at State House on Monday.

Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan congratulated the two appointees, saying he has "no doubt that you will do a great job. I believe the two appointments today go well together keeping in mind the work that both Commissions do."

The first to take the judicial oath of allegiance was Renaud, who was the Commissioner of SHRC until 2019, and was first appointed chairman of the institution the same year when he retired as justice of the Court of Appeal.

The Seychelles Human Rights Commission is a self-governing, neutral, and independent body that is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority. Its role is to investigate alleged violations of human rights and to assist victims of such violations to seek redress.

The institution was set up to carry out its mandate under the Seychelles Human Rights Commission Act 2018.

Renaud said that during his first mandate, SHRC has mainly worked to establish the entity.

However, he told the press that "the strategy now is more to strengthen our structure and focus more on media and education. We believe that once people understand - not only those on the streets - but the institution of government ministries, departments and agencies, people will understand the aspects of human rights as set out in Chapter Three of the Constitution."

He said, "We have to live and give life to what is written in Chapter Three of the Constitution."

Renaud became the country's first Ombudsman in November 1993. Among his other positions, he was also the Chairman of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the Constitution - which remains the country's Supreme Law to date, in 1992 and 1993.

In his address, Ramkalawan said that institutions had to work with Renaud to ensure that the experience and knowledge he has, are kept and shared with others.  

Julie is the 5th member of the Electoral Commission. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY

Elvis Julie also sworn in the fifth member to the Electoral Commission of Seychelles, the body that organises, oversees and regulates political elections in the island nation.

The Commission, which is in charge of registering political parties in Seychelles, comprises a chairperson and six other members appointed for a seven-year term as per Article 115 of the Constitution.

Julie replaces Veronique Bonnelame-Alcindor, who had been in the position until the end of her mandate.

With over 15 years of working experience with the Electoral Commission, Julie told reporters that with this new appointment, his role is different as he is now part of the decision-making team.

He said this appointment is complementary to his current role as the chief executive of the SHRC.

"When you have someone who understands human rights and is also working in the Electoral Commission, it makes me more sensitive when making decisions, and I can also contribute where individual rights are concerned," said Julie.

Julie held several positions with the Electoral Commission, including an assistant electoral officer, a deputy and the electoral officer for the St Louis district in the last presidential elections held in 2020.

He revealed that the EC is already working on the 2025 elections and holding a series of consultations in different regions of the country until July 15.

"My work is to go out there and sensitise people about the amendments the Electoral Commission wants to bring forward and ensure that the laws are passed in time for the coming elections in September 2025," he added. 


Tags: Seychelles Human Rights Commission, Electoral Commission of Seychelles

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