Professor Danièle Darlan

Central African Republic

Professor Danièle Darlan, the former President of the Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court, has earned the title of an International Woman of Courage for her defense of her nation’s constitution, her heroism in safeguarding judicial independence, and her refusal to be influenced by threats or political pressure.  Her final act as President of the Court before her removal by the government, in which she found that methods proposed to redraft the constitution were not legally sound, exemplified her unwavering commitment to the rule of law. This courageous stand capped a lengthy and distinguished career as a lawyer, educator, judge, and advocate for institution building and women’s rights in one of the world’s poorest countries.  Professor Darlan’s championship of equity and transparency in the Central African Republic’s legal system has endured through coups d’état and years of civil conflict.  As the Central African Republic’s most prominent female government official and the first woman to head the Constitutional Court, her tenacity has earned her the nickname “Woman of Iron” and a top spot on Jeune Afrique’s list of “The Thirty Building Tomorrow’s Africa.”

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