From the 2009 News Archive
South African Constitutional Court Justice to Lecture on Oct. 26
The Honorable Johann Vincent van der Westhuizen
of the Constitutional Court of South Africa will visit the School of Law on Oct. 26 as part of the School’s Distinguished Visitor’s Program. Judge van der Westhuizen will present “The Independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law,” at 4 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Judge van der Westhuizen was highly involved in drafting South Africa’s Constitution in 1995 and 1996, as a member of the Independent Panel of Constitutional Experts, which advised the Constitutional Assembly, and the Technical Refinement Team, responsible for the final drafting and editing process.
He joined the Constitutional Court of South Africa on Feb. 1, 2004. Prior to joining the Constitutional Court of South Africa, he was appointed by the first South African President Nelson Mandela as a judge in the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa, now the North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria.
He is a council member of the South African Judicial Education Institute, an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University’s Centre for Human Rights. Judge van der Westhuizen was also the founding director of the Centre for Human Rights, which has played a prominent role in legal resistance to apartheid and in the debate about a new constitutional dispensation. The Center, established in 1986, is now internationally recognized as a leading human rights institution in Africa.
The Distinguished Visitors Program brings scholars and professionals in law and allied fields to the School of Law for short or longer-term academic visits. Visiting professors present a public lecture and work with students and other faculty members in a variety of formal and informal settings. In addition to Justice van der Westhuizen, this year’s Distinguished Visitors includes a two-week visit by Shirley Abrahamson
, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.