World Bulletin / News Desk
The council, which is tasked with tracking the country’s human rights record, came into being early last year via a constitutional amendment.
Algerian state radio reported that Judge Fafa Benzerrouki had been elected council president on Thursday by the body’s 38 members.
The rights council is a nominally independent body, the main task of which is to monitor the state of human rights in Algeria and inform the judicial authorities in the event of violations.
Council members are appointed directly by the Algerian president and parliament.
Each year, the council is expected to publish a report on its findings, which is later submitted to the president and his government.
The council was initially created to supplement a preexisting advisory body for human rights affiliated with the presidency.
While that body, too, publishes annual reports, it does not have the authority to notify judicial officials about rights violations.
Benzerrouki began her judicial career in 1975 at a court in western Algeria before being appointed president of the Court of Algiers one year later, becoming Algeria’s first female court president.
In 2010, she was appointed president of Algeria’s first administrative court. Four years later, she was made a member of the Cairo-based Arab League’s administrative court.