John Dugard has made an immense contribution and achievement in the field of law, especially in the human rights and international law, for being an excellent ambassador of South Africa in the legal field and for being a human-rights law authority in South Africa and abroad.
These were the sentiments shared by the Honourable Judge James Richard Crawford, International Court of Justice, when he delivered an inaugural lecture hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), on Thursday, 25 October 2018, in Auckland Park Kingsway Campus.
The lecture theme was titled ‘The Hague – South Africa and International Law: A Tribute to John Dugard’.
After the welcoming address of Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, UJ Executive Dean: Faculty of Law, John Dugard’s lecture examined the effectiveness of international Courts in achieving international justice.
During the lecture, Judge Crawford gave insightful comments on Prof Dugard’s position and elucidated the role of international courts from a South African perspective.
With a unique focus on the South African experience, John Dugard through the CALS, became involved in public education and litigation in the fields of human rights, labour law and laws affecting the black community. He participated in the constitutional talks towards a democratic South Africa, and was part of the team that delivered the interim Constitution in 1993.
Handled expertly, the thought provoking lecture led to the conclusion that the challenges involved in implementing international law in South Africa are revealed by the fact that a number of important international treaties which South Africa has ratified have remained unimplemented and there remains a lot more work to be done in order to achieve the vision of world peace.