Center for International Human Rights Honors Global Jurist of the Year

October 08, 2013

Dikgang Moseneke, the deputy chief justice of the South African Constitutional Court, will speak at two events during his October 16 visit to the Law School. The Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) will host Justice Moseneke as the first recipient of their Global Jurist of the Year Award.

A distinguished lawyer and judge, Moseneke was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the award for his commitment to human rights and the rule of law. He will speak on “The People, the Courts and the Embryonic Jurisprudence of South Africa” at the October 16 dinner and award ceremony to be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Bluhm Legal Clinic, 375 East Chicago Avenue, on Northwestern’s Chicago campus. Individual tickets for the dinner can be purchased online.  

Moseneke will also speak at a lunch event at the Law School earlier in the day.  His address, “The Law and the Transition from Apartheid to a Constitutional Democracy,” will be given at Noon in Rubloff 150. This event is free and open to Law School students, faculty, staff, and alumni; however, preregistration is requested.

 “Chief Deputy Justice Moseneke’s unwavering commitment to justice and the rule of law throughout his long and distinguished career, often in the face of adversity, is an inspiration to the bench and bar,” said Daivd Scheffer, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and director of the Center for International Human Rights.

Moseneke, born in Pretoria, South Africa, was arrested and convicted at age 15 for participating in anti-apartheid activity. During his 10-year imprisonment on Robben Island, he earned two college degrees. In 1978 he was admitted as an attorney and focused his practice largely on legal challenges to apartheid policies and their consequences. 

In 1993, Moseneke served on the committee that drafted South Africa’s interim constitution and served as deputy chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted South Africa’s first democratic elections. In 2001, he was appointed as a judge of the High Court in Pretoria and was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2002. Moseneke was made deputy chief justice of that court in 2005.

The CIHR created the Global Jurist of the Year Award to recognize judges who have made a substantial contribution to the advancement of international human rights law and international criminal law, particularly those who have shown outstanding dedication to the rule of law and courage in the face of adversity. Jurists from all nations and tribunals are eligible for consideration.