Judge Johann Kriegler: Chair
After 25 years at the bar and 10 on the bench, Johann Kriegler served on the new Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 to 2002. Under the previous government, he played an active role in establishing various human-rights and public-interest advocacy bodies and is at present involved in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and various other human-rights bodies, as also in the training of judges and advocates at home and abroad. Judge Kriegler chaired the Independent Electoral Commission, which ran the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, and subsequently headed South Africa’s first permanent independent electoral agency. He has lectured extensively on judicial and electoral matters on five continents. In recent years various missions for the ICJ, the IBA, the AU, the UN and other agencies have taken him inter alia to Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Palestine, Sierra Leone and Sudan and to more than a dozen countries in subequatorial Africa. Judge Kriegler is an honorary life member of the Johannesburg Bar and an honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn.
George Bizos SC
George Bizos came to public notice as a human-rights lawyer at the Rivonia trial in the 1960s, when he was a member of the defence team for Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. He has now completed more than 60 years at the Johannesburg Bar, where his career has included notable appearances in inquests (including that into Steve Biko’s death) and political trials (such as the Delmas trial). Subsequently he acted for the Constitutional Assembly at the South African constitutional certification hearings. He has garnered several local and international awards and honorary degrees. At present senior counsel at the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre, he has served on the Botswana Court of Appeal and the South African Judicial Service Commission.
A law graduate of the University of Port Elizabeth (now the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), David Broodryk commenced his career at the intellectual properties firm Adams & Adams, following this with 15 years as Manager: Legal Services with the company known today as SAB Miller. In 1998 he relocated from Gauteng to the Western Cape, joining Remgro Management Services in a similar capacity. Currently he serves on the Africa Global Advisory Council of the International Trade Mark Association and is a director of Tralac (Trade Law Centre).
Professor Hugh Corder
Hugh Corder is a law graduate of Cape Town, Cambridge and Oxford. His DPhil dissertation at Oxford in 1982 analysed the political role of the South African appellate judiciary from 1910 to 1950. He has served two terms as Dean of Law at the University of Cape Town, having held a chair in public law there since 1987. Professor Corder has written extensively in the fields of constitutional and administrative law over the past 30 years, and was elected a Fellow of the University of Cape Town in 2004. He has been active in many organisations in civil society since his student days in the 1970s, striving for the recognition of basic rights through the law, in pursuit of dignity, equality and freedom for all. In 1993 he served on the committee drafting South Africa’s first Bill of Rights, which became part of the transitional constitution.
Ezra Davids, an alumnus of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Harvard Law School, heads the Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) department at the South African law firm Bowman Gilfillan Inc, specialising in M&A, capital markets and securities law, and is also the relationship partner for a number of the firm’s major clients. He is a regular contributor to a number of international publications in his areas of interest and has been named by Who’s Who Legal as one of South Africa’s leading M&A lawyers, and became the first practising African lawyer to make the full cover of The American Lawyer. Ezra Davids serves on the UCT Council and is the immediate past chair of the UCT Law Faculty Advisory Board, as also a past chair of the IBA subcommittee concerned with current developments in M&A law and currently vice-chair of the IBA Africa Regional Forum. He is a trustee of the Legal Resources Trust and a patron of the Student Sponsorship Programme.
Jeremy Gauntlett SC
A former chair of the Cape Bar and of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa, and vice-president of the Bar for the International Criminal Court, Jeremy Gauntlett has previously co-chaired the International Bar Association’s Forum for Barristers and Advocates. He is in practice at the Cape, Johannesburg and London Bars and a Bencher of the Middle Temple, and served (sessionally) as a Judge of Appeal of Lesotho from 1996 to 2010. In addition to his practice in commercial and public law in Southern Africa, he has served as an ICC arbitrator and as lead counsel before the SADC Tribunal and now the African Commission and African Court for dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers.
Abdool Rahim Khan
Abdool Rahim Khan was admitted as an attorney in South Africa in 1977 and has been in practice in Botswana for more than 30 years. Before that he lectured in Law at the University of Botswana, and has also served as an acting Chief Magistrate and as the honorary Swedish consul to Botswana. He is a trustee of the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), a board member of the Alliance Francaise and the African Wildlife Foundation (Washington DC/Nairobi), chairs the Legal Aid Board of Botswana and the UNESCO national commission for Botswana and is a director of Botswana Railways.
Beatrice Mtetwa, a past president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, qualified in law at the University of Botswana and Swaziland in 1981. Having worked as a prosecutor in Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1989, she entered private practice in Harare and has been litigating on human-rights issues since 1990. Her work in Zimbabwe has resulted in harassment by State agents – arrests, prosecution and physical assaults. She is the recipient of numerous international honours, including the Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award 2003 (Law Society of England and Wales), the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award for Service to Law in Southern African 2009 (South African Bar Council), the International Press Freedom Award 2009 (Committee to Protect Journalists), the Ludovic Trarieux Award 2009 (European Bar Human Rights Institute), the International Human Rights Award 2010 (American Bar Association) and an International Woman of Courage Award 2014 (US State Department), as well as various honorary degrees. Beatrice Mtetwa is the subject of the 2013 documentary Rule of Law and was ranked in 2015 by Fortune magazine as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”.
Justice Zak Yacoob
Justice Yacoob served as a Constitutional Court judge from 1998 until his retirement in 2013. He has been a life-long human-rights lawyer, rising to prominence during the apartheid years, and represented, among others, the Durban Six, the United Democratic Front in the Delmas treason trial, and the African National Congress in the Operation Vula trial. Justice Yacoob, who is himself blind, has also been closely involved in the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society, has sat on numerous school committees and has served as chairperson of the South Africa National Council of the Blind.