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Confronting Apartheid – John Dugard

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Confronting Apartheid – John Dugard

John Dugard discusses his book Confronting Apartheid (Camera & Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

1st November 2018


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South Africa achieved notoriety for its apartheid policies and practices both in the country and in Namibia. Today Israel stands accused of applying apartheid in the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967. Confronting Apartheid examines the regimes of these three societies from the perspective of the author’s experiences as a human rights lawyer in South Africa and Namibia and as a UN human rights envoy in occupied Palestine.

Looking back over a long and distinguished career, John Dugard describes the work he undertook in defence of human rights by opposing the system of apartheid in South West Africa/Namibia and South Africa and more recently in occupied Palestine, which enforces a system that closely mirrors apartheid in South Africa. He shows how law was used by progressive lawyers in Namibia and South Africa to strike at the heart of apartheid. The entrenchment of a system of discrimination and oppression in occupied Palestine is carefully examined in the context of apartheid, but he ends on a note of hope that the international community, acting through civil society and the institutions of international law, will ensure that a just solution is found to this seemingly intractable problem.


"John Dugard’s vivid historical and comparative study of injustice in three societies not only shows how law has been – and is being – used as an instrument of racial injustice, but reminds us powerfully of the need to confront racial oppression wherever it occurs."Edwin Cameron

" …serves to remind us of the depths to which humankind may sink in its determination to secure the supposed superiority of one racial group over another." – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

" …a highly readable narrative that brings to bear his vast experiences and contributes to a deeper understanding of urgent issues of Justice in our time."Raja Shehadeh, prominent Palestinian human rights lawyer


" …Dugard’s work and now fascinating book provides insights essential for every person interested in human rights and especially for cause lawyers."Michael Sfard, leading Israeli human rights lawyer

John Dugard is a renowned legal academic who pioneered the human rights movement in South Africa. He founded the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University, which did path-breaking work in advocacy and litigation in support of human rights during the apartheid years. After the fall of apartheid he pursued a career in international law as director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, professor of international law at Leiden University, member of the UN International Law Commission, UN special rapporteur on human rights in occupied Palestine and judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He has written several books on apartheid, human rights and international law, in addition to co-authoring textbooks on criminal law and procedure and international law. He has also written extensively on South African apartheid.

Confronting Apartheid is published bu Jacana Media


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