South Africa: human rights and the rule of law

With increasing reports of the tensions and repression of blacks in South Africa, the ICJ decided to send a mission to South Africa.

Their terms of reference were to examine the degree of compliance in South Africa with international human rights law as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant instruments. The particular subjects they considered were trade union rights, the repeal of the pass laws and other discriminatory legislation, the independence of judges and lawyers, the security system, the treatment of children under the legal system, the state of education, freedom of speech and political activity, legal services in rural areas, and human rights in the homelands.

The mission was composed of four lawyers, each having expertise on the apartheid system. They were Geoffrey Bindman, a solicitor practising in London (author of the report); Jean-Marie Crettaz, a member of the Council of the Geneva Bar; Henry Downing, an Irish barrister; and Guenter Witzsch, Professor of Public Law in the University of Munster, in the Federal Republic of Germany. The mission went to South Africa for a period of three weeks in February 1987.

South Africa-human rights and rule of law-fact finding mission-1988-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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