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Professor Christopher John Robert Dugard

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Professor Christopher John Robert Dugard Awarded for:
His immense contribution to 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.
Christopher John Robert Dugard was born on 23 August 1936 in Fort Beaufort. He obtained BA and LLB degrees from the University of Stellenbosch and an LLB and LLD from the University of Cambridge. He lectured at the Law Faculty of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) from 1965 and was Dean of the Law Faculty from 1975 to 1977.

He later became a founder and director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) for 13 years. Thereafter, he remained a Professor of Law at Wits until 1998 when he left to assume the position of Professor of Public International Law at the University of Leiden.

He is an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa and has practised as such from the early 1960s until the present. He was appointed senior counsel in 1998. He has written several books, of which the most notable are: The South West Africa / Namibia Dispute (1973), Human Rights and the South African Legal Order (1978) and International Law: A South African Perspective (4th ed 2011), a leading book on its subject in South Africa.

John Dugard has made an enormous contribution to the field of human rights and international law, not only locally but also internationally. Through the CALS, he 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.

He served in the Technical Committee for Investigating the Repeal or Amendment of Legislation Impeding Free Political Activity and Discriminatory Legislation. He also advised regarding the drafting of the Bill of Rights for the final Constitution, 1996.

From 1997 to 2011, he served as a member of the United Nations (UN) International Law Commission, the body responsible for the codification and progressive development of international law. From 2000 to 2006, he was special rapporteur to the commission on the subject of diplomatic protection.

Prof. Dugard has been appointed as Judge ad hoc in three cases before the International Court of Justice – involving disputes between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda (2002 to 2006), Malaysia and Singapore (2004 to 2008) and Costa Rica and Nicaragua (2011–).

In 2001, Prof. Dugard chaired the Commission of Enquiry into Violations of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory established by the UN Commission on Human Rights. From 2001 to 2008, he was special rapporteur to the Human Rights Council (successor to the Commission on Human Rights) on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The many honours he has received include honorary doctorates from the universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Stellenbosch. He is also an honorary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. He is an honorary member of the American Society of International Law. Prof. Dugard has held visiting professorships at universities in England, the United States of America and Australia. He has earned worldwide respect in human rights and international law.