Kalthoum Kennou, a member of the Justice Leadership Group, is a Judge at the Court of Cassation and the Former Secretary-General of the Association of Tunisian Judges (AMT). In 2014, Kalthoum Kennou made history by running for presidency as the first female candidate ever in Tunisian elections. Kennou has been a serving judge since 1989. She is an active member of the Tunisian Judges’ Association, and was appointed as its Secretary-General in 2005. Additionally, she served as an investigating Judge at the Tribunal of Kairouan (2005-2010) and the Court of Appeal of Tunis (2001-2005).
Kalthoum Kennou was an active fighter against the dictatorship regime of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. As a consequence of her work, she was subjected to politically motivated, professional and personal harassment, including salary cuts and arbitrary transfers. In 2005, after being based in Tunis for most of her life, she was suddenly transferred to a remote province of Kairouan. Again she was transferred in 2009, this time to the remote city of Tozeur. Nevertheless, she kept helping her activist friends and participating in protests and strikes. When the revolution came, Kalthoum signed a statement on the 11 January in 2011 against the authorities. Her fight for the independence of justice became recognised globally and in 2010, she became the commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists.