The Commission consists of 11 members elected by the AU Assembly from experts nominated by the state parties to the Charter. The Assembly considers equitable geographical and gender representation in electing the members of the Commission. Members of the Commission are elected for a six-year term and are eligible for reelection.
Once elected, the commissioners serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of their respective countries. Previously, some members of the Commission held high political offices at the national level, which affects the Commission’s independence. The AU in April 2005 issued a note verbale to member states prescribing guidelines for nomination of members to the Commission which excluded senior civil servants and diplomatic representatives.