Do the political transitions in South Africa and Namibia have any lessons for Palestine? Prof John Dugard lecture

You are hereby cordially invited to attend the first public STIAS lecture of 2013. This presents an opportunity to SU researchers and students, as well as members of the public, to learn more about the work of STIAS fellows.

On this occasion Prof. John Dugard, Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria and STIAS fellow will present a talk with the title:

Do the political transitions in South Africa and Namibia have any lessons for Palestine?



It is widely believed that international law has no role to play in  the settlement of political disputes. This belief is disproved by the histories of both Namibia and South Africa where norms of international law guided the political settlements. In the case of Namibia the United Nations made it clear  that under international law South West Africa was an international territory that was to be administered by South Africa as a “sacred trust of civilization”. South Africa’ s policies aimed at annexation, territorial fragmentation and the application of apartheid were accordingly  rejected by the United Nations. In 1991 Namibia became independent within the framework prescribed by international law. In the case of South Africa norms of international law rejected the territorial fragmentation of the country into Bantustans and prescribed the principles of non-discrimination and respect for human rights. Again, South Africa’s transition of the early nineties took place in accordance with the prescriptions of international law. In Palestine the Palestinians  insist that any settlement must be guided by  the  principle of international law that territory may not be acquired by forcible means .  Israel’s policies and practices , particularly its annexation of East Jerusalem , construction of a wall in Palestinian territory and  settlements , are at odds with this principle.  Israel refuses to accept  this established principle of international law and is explicitly supported by the United States and implicitly by many European states. The lesson of Southern Africa that any viable settlement must take place in accordance with  the prescriptions of international law finds little support among western states but they still offer the best hope for a peaceful settlement.


Datum                   Dinsdag 12 Februarie 2013
Tyd                              13:00
Plek                             Con de Villiers lesingsaal, JC Smuts gebou, Universiteit Stellenbosch


Neem die voetbruggie oor Merrimanlaan vanaf die Neelsie

Ons sien uit daarna om u by hierdie geleentheid te verwelkom  –  moet dit nie misloop nie!

Vir meer inligting kontak vir Felicia McDonald by 021 808 2581 of  


Date                             Tuesday 12 February 2013
Time                             13:00
Place                            Con de Villiers lecture hall, JC Smuts building, Stellenbosch University


Take the foot bridge over Merriman avenue from the Neelsie. 

We look forward to welcoming you at this event  –  not to be missed!

For more information, contact Felicia McDonald at 021 808 2581 or



John Dugard is currently resident fellow at STIAS. He is a law graduate of the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cambridge and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Stellenbosch University in 2011. In 2012 he was awarded the Order of the Baobab (Gold) by President Zuma. His main interests are international law, human rights and international criminal law. He has taught at the Universities of  the Witwatersrand (1965–1998), Cambridge (1995–1997), Leiden (1998–2006) and Pretoria (2007–2011) . At the University of the Witwatersrand he was Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and at Cambridge he was Director of the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law. He was a member of the UN International Law Commission (1997–2011) and UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2001–2008). He is presently a judge ad hoc  of the International Court of Justice. He is author of Human Rights and the South African Legal Order  (1978) and   International Law: A South African Perspective (4th ed., 2011).


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