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Northwestern Law to Honor South African Judge

Dikgang Moseneke to receive first annual Global Jurist of the Year Award

CHICAGO --- Northwestern University School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) will award its first annual Global Jurist of the Year Award to Dikgang Moseneke, deputy chief justice of the South African Constitutional Court. 

The awards ceremony and address by Justice Moseneke will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the atrium of the law school, 375 E. Chicago Avenue. 

“The Center for International Human Rights is delighted to present the first annual Global Jurist of the Year Award to Justice Moseneke in light of his unwavering commitment to human rights and the rule of law throughout his long and distinguished career,” said David Scheffer, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law at Northwestern and d
irector of the Center for International Human Rights. 

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Moseneke was arrested and convicted of participating in anti-apartheid activity at the age of 15. He was imprisoned for 10 years on Robben Island, during which time he earned two college degrees. Admitted as an attorney in 1978, Moseneke focused his practice largely on legal challenges to apartheid policies and their consequences. 

In 1993, Moseneke served on the committee that drafted South Africa’s interim constitution and served as deputy chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted South Africa’s first democratic elections. In 2001, he was appointed as a judge of the High Court in Pretoria and appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2002. Moseneke was made deputy chief justice of that court in 2005.

The Global Jurist of the Year Award is granted annually to a judge in recognition of that judge’s contribution to the advancement of international human rights law or international criminal law. Special account is taken of those who have shown outstanding dedication to the rule of law and courage in the face of adversity, including personal risk. Jurists from all nations and tribunals are eligible for consideration.

Directed by Scheffer, former U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes issues, the CIHR is housed in Northwestern Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic and dedicated to engaging with and addressing global human rights and international criminal law issues.

CIHR faculty and students work on a broad range of clinical projects supporting international and domestic partners in securing and promoting human rights and international justice. CIHR faculty teach, publish and work directly on an array of international law subjects, providing students a depth of experience in both the theory and practice of human rights and international criminal law.