Recently retired as a judge of South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal, Azhar Cachalia remains committed to safeguarding constitutionalism, non-racialism and the rule of law against their many threats.
Pre-democracy, as a founder and leading member of the United Democratic Front and its long-term national treasurer, he paid his dues in terms of detentions and banning, and practised as a partner at the renowned activist firm of attorneys Cheadle, Thompson & Haysom. Post-transition he served as an adviser to the Constitutional Assembly, and as convenor of the team that drafted the new Police Act. As Secretary for Safety and Security, he was chief policy adviser to the Minister of Safety and Security. He subsequently resumed legal practice, was appointed to the Bench and served as a judge for 20 years. Meanwhile, he was active in the International Commission of Jurists, serving as an exco member and several terms as a commissioner. Currently he is a visiting professor at Rhodes University and a member of the editorial board of the South African Law Journal (SALJ).