John Dugard
Get John Dugard essential facts below. View Videos or join the John Dugard discussion. Add John Dugard to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
John Dugard

Christopher John Robert Dugard (born 23 August 1936 in Fort Beaufort),[1] known as John Dugard, is a South African professor of international law. His main academic specializations are in Roman-Dutch law, public international law, jurisprudence, human rights, criminal procedure and international criminal law. He has served on the International Law Commission, the primary UN institution for the development of international law, and has been active in reporting on human-rights violations by Israel in the Palestinian territories.

He has written several books on apartheid, human rights, and international law, in addition to coauthoring textbooks on criminal law and procedure and international law.[2] He has also written extensively on South African apartheid.[3]


John Dugard earned his BA (1956) and LLB (1958) degrees at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and a second LLB (1965) and LL.D. degree, a Diploma in International Law (1965), and an LL.D. Degree (1980), all from Cambridge University.[3]



From 1975-1977, Dugard was the Dean and a Professor of Law at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). From 1978-1990, he was the Director of the University of Witwatersrand's Centre for Applied Legal Studies,[4] "a research centre committed to the promotion of Human Rights in South Africa".[5]

Dugard was Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge from 1995-1997.[6]

In 1998, Dugard was appointed Chair in Public International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands and as Director of the Advanced LL.M. programme in Public International Law.

Since 2006 he has been a Professor of Law at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria.[3]

He has held visiting professorships at Princeton University, Duke University, UC Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania, and University of New South Wales (Australia).[3]

Other Professional Activities

He has, since 1997, served as a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations. In 2000, he became its Special Rapporteur on Diplomatic Protection.

In 2000, he served as Judge ad hoc in the cases concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Burundi) (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda) and (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Rwanda) at the International Court of Justice.

Dugard visited the Palestine Center in Washington DC in March 2009 and gave a lecture entitled "Apartheid and Occupation under International Law." The video and the transcript of the lecture were made available online.[7]

United Nations

Following the recurrence of the Palestinian intifada in late 2000, John Dugard was appointed as Chairman of a UN Commission on Human Rights inquiry commission on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. In 2001, he was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur to the commission on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967". He was charged with submitting annual reports and recommendations to the UN concerning the situation of international human rights and humanitarian law.

In its first special session in July 2006, the Human Rights Council dispatched an urgent fact-finding mission headed by Dugard to report on the situation in the Palestinian territories. On 26 September 2006, Dugard reported that the "standards of human rights in the Palestinian territories have fallen to intolerable new levels".[8]

Beginning in 2008,[9] he served as Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice.[3]

Dugard visited the Palestine Center in Washington DC in March 2009 and gave a lecture entitled "Apartheid and Occupation under International Law."[10]

He is currently a door tenant at 20 Essex Street Chambers in London, who specialise in Public International Law.[10]

2007 Report

In a report released in February 2007, Dugard stated "Israel's laws and practices certainly resemble aspects of apartheid" in the occupied Palestinian territory.[11] "It is difficult to resist the conclusion that many of Israel's laws and practices violate the 1966 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination," says the report.[11] Dugard also stated, "Discrimination against Palestinians occurs in many fields. Moreover, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid appears to be violated by many practices, particularly those denying freedom of movement to Palestinians."[12]

Referring to Israel's actions in the occupied West Bank, he wrote, "Can it seriously be denied that the purpose [...] is to establish and maintain domination by one racial group (Jews) over another racial group (Palestinians) and systematically oppressing them? Israel denies that this is its intention or purpose. But such an intention or purpose may be inferred from the actions described in this report."[13]

Critics noted that Dugard was appointed in 2001 as an unpaid expert by the UN Human Rights Commission to investigate only violations by the Israeli side. Israel and the U.S. therefore dismissed his reports as one-sided.[14] Israel's UN ambassador in Geneva, Itzhak Levanon, said that "Professor Dugard will better serve the cause of peace by ceasing to enflame the hatred between Israelis and Palestinians, who have embarked on serious talks to solve this contentious situation."[15] An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said it was "rank politicisation" of the UN's human rights apparatus. "This is the promoting of partisan, one-sided political attitudes which frankly don't serve the interests of anyone who is seriously interested in human rights."[16]

Dugard also issued a report in 2008.[17] In 2009 he was replaced by American professor of international relations Richard A. Falk.[18]

Other writings on Israel and the Palestinian territories

In an August 2009 article for the Huffington Post, Dugard compared the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory to South African apartheid. "Israel is long overdue," he wrote, "to undergo the same racial reckoning and transformation that the United States underwent in the 1960s and South Africa passed through in the 1990s." He stated that Israeli settlers had two choices: to "leave the occupied territories" or "live under Palestinian law." And he declared that "Israel must make the choice in the weeks ahead whether it intends to continue ruling over the Palestinians indefinitely or will step back from the dual system of law and apartheid it appears poised to embrace under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu."[19]

Dugard also compared Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territory to apartheid in South Africa in a November 2011 article for Al Jazeera. While acknowledging some distinctions between the two systems, he said that "in practice, there is little difference," with both regimes being "characterized by discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation (that is, land seizures)." He said that Israel's "confiscation of Palestinian farms under the pretext of building a security wall" was reminiscent of South African actions against blacks, and argued that "Israel has gone beyond apartheid South Africa in constructing separate (and unequal) roads for Palestinians and settlers." He also claimed that Israeli security forces, like the South African Security Police, "practiced torture on a large scale."[20]

In a 2012 paper, Dugard reiterated his comparison of Israel and South Africa. "Israel does not recognize those who engage in resistance activities, either as combatants or as protesters, as 'political' prisoners as this would confer legitimacy on the cause that motivates them," wrote Dugard. "Instead they are termed ordinary criminals, security prisoners or, most frequently, 'terrorists.' South Africa too sought to denigrate its political prisoners in this way." He further maintained that "more Palestinians have been killed in targeted assassinations of combatants [by Israel] than were judicially executed in South Africa." He concluded that "However cruel and inhuman the conditions of Palestinian prisoners, however unfair the trials that sent them to prison, and however demeaning their characterization as 'criminals' or 'terrorists,' we should not forget that Palestinian prisoners are the fortunate ones. For they were not murdered by a regime that murders political opponents under the euphemism of 'targeted assassinations.'"[21]

In a September 2012 article, he declared that Britain, as the original "Mandatory Power" governing what is now Israel under a League of Nations mandate, had violated a "sacred" obligation to Palestinians by supporting Israel over the decades and that the "jury is still out on the question whether Israel acted in self-defence or as an aggressor" in the Six-Day War. "Sadly Britain has done little to protect the human rights of the Palestinian people or to advance their independence," Dugard wrote. While questioning the legality of the 1947 UN resolution establishing Israel, he argued for the legitimacy of Palestine as a state, noting that it is a member of the League of Arab States and of UNESCO and that "between 120 and 130 states have recognised the state of Palestine in some way or another."[22]

Dugard was one of 52 international figures who signed a 2012 letter calling for a military embargo against Israel on the eve of the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine. Among the other signatories were Nobel Peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquível, performer Roger Waters, filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, and authors Alice Walker and Naomi Klein. Citing "Israel's unchecked belligerence" and "subjugation of Palestinians," the letter argued that "Israel's attempt to justify [the] illegal use of belligerent and disproportionate military force as 'self-defence' does not stand up to legal - or moral - scrutiny, as states cannot invoke self-defence for acts that serve to defend an unlawful situation which they have created in the first place."[23]

Criticism of Dugard

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in 2004 to remove Dugard from the position of U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, for his "clearly demonstrated bias against the State of Israel." The ADL cited Dugard's report, "Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine," in which, according to the ADL, he "presents personal convictions as fact, and goes well beyond reporting to an incendiary call for action by the international community against Israel." While "Dugard comprehensively presents as fact alleged Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians," charged the ADL, his report made "little to no mention of Palestinian involvement in terrorism against Israel, of Palestinian arms smuggling tunnels, or rocket attacks against Israeli towns."[24]

UN Watch criticized Dugard in 2006, protesting his appointment to lead a "fact-finding mission...on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories." Dugard's reports, complained UN Watch, "stand out, even by UN standards, for their virulently anti-Israel prejudice. Not only does Dugard systematically ignore Palestinian acts of terror and their victims, but he has gone so far as to laud Palestinian 'militarized groups armed with rifles, mortars, and Kassam-2 rockets [who] confront the [Israeli army] with new determination, daring, and success.'" Also, while "many UN to lambaste Israel," Dugard is "the only appointee of the UN who regularly rails against the UN-sponsored Quartet and its Road Map for Middle East Peace." Citing Dugard's statement about the recent capture by Hamas of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit, in which Dugard expressed sympathy "for all Israel's young soldiers compelled to serve in the army of an occupying power," UN Watch commented that "Dugard could not bring himself to express sympathy for the captured soldier without wrapping it in a sharp stab, drenched with cynicism, at Israel's morality. We've seen nothing to suggest Corporal Shalit has felt anything other than patriotic about his service." UN Watch further noted that while Dugard had criticized the use of the death penalty by the Palestinian Authority against Palestinian convicts, he had never made reference in his reports to "the terror faced daily by Israeli civilians" and "the attempted mega-terror attacks against Israeli skyscrapers, ports and fuel depots."[25]


He is a member of the Institut de Droit International. Since 1997 he has been a member of the UN International Law Commission.[26]

Honors and awards

John Dugard has honorary doctorates of law from the University of Cape Town, University of Natal, University of Port Elizabeth, University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand.

In April 2012, he received one of South Africa's highest civilian honors, the Order of the Baobab: Gold, in a ceremony conducted by President Jacob Zuma.[2]

Selected bibliography


  • International Law: A South African Perspective 3rd Edition (2006) ISBN 0-7021-7121-2
  • The Last Years of Apartheid: Civil Liberties in South Africa, with Nicholas Haysom, Gilbert Marcus (1992) ISBN 0-87124-145-5
  • Recognition and the United Nations (1987) ISBN 0-521-46322-X
  • Human Rights and the South African Legal Order (1978) ISBN 0-691-09236-2
  • The South West Africa/Namibia Dispute (1973) ISBN 0-520-01886-9
  • Introduction to criminal procedure Juta and Co Ltd (1977)
  • Recognition and the United Nations Grotius Publications (1987)

Articles in scholarly journals

  • "Objections to the revision of the 1962 judgment of the International Court of Justice in the South West Africa cases" (1965) 82, South African Law Journal, 178-191
  • "The legal effect of United Nations Resolutions on Apartheid" (1966) 83, South African Law Journal, 44-59.
  • "South West Africa cases, second phase, 1966" (1966) 83, South African Law Journal, 429-460
  • "The Organization of African Unity and Colonialism: An enquiry into the plea of self-defence as a justification for the use of force in the eradication of colonialism" (1967) 16, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 157-190
  • "The revocation of the mandate for South West Africa" (1968) 62, American Journal of International Law, 78-97
  • "The Simonstown Agreement : South Africa, Britain and the United Nations" (1968) 85, South African Law Journal, 142-156
  • "South West Africa and the supremacy of the South African parliament" (1969) 86, South African Law Journal, 194-201
  • "The judicial process, positivism and civil liberty" (1971) 88, South African Law Journal 181-200
  • "Academic freedom in South Africa" (1970) 3, Droits de l'homme 186-194
  • "The political trial: Some special considerations" (1974) 95, South African Law Journal 59-72
  • "Statutory interpretation as an exercise in choice" (1978) 95, South African Law Journal pp 451-454
  • "Some realism about the judicial process and positivism" (1981) 98, South African Law Journal 372-387
  • "Chief Justice versus President: Does the ghost of Brown v Leyds NO still haunt our judges?" (1981) 165, De Rebus 421-422
  • "Judges and unjust laws" (1981) 22/2, Codicillus 50-55
  • "The judiciary and national security" (1982) 99, South African Law Journal 655-659
  • "A triumph for executive power - an examination of the Rabie report and the Internal Security Act 74, of 1982" (1982) 99 South African Law Journal 589-604
  • "Using the law to pervert justice" (1983) 11/2, Human Rights (American Bar Association) 22-25, 50-54.
  • "Towards Genuine democracy in conflict ridden countries: A South African perspective" (1991) 1, Beyond Law (Mas Alla del Derecho Colombia) 65-76.
  • "Human rights, apartheid and lawyers. Are there any lessons for lawyers from common law countries?" (1992) 15, University of New South Wales Law Journal 439-447.
  • "Towards racial justice in South Africa" in Henkin and Rosenthal (eds) Constitutionalism and rights. The influence of the US Constitution abroad (1990)[27]

Legal Briefings

  • South West Africa and the International Court;: Two viewpoints on the 1971 advisory opinion (1973) ISBN B0006CGXB2
  • Apartheid and human rights in South Africa: Techniques of implementation (1974) ISBN B0006WUI1I
  • The denationalization of Black South Africans in pursuance of apartheid: A question for the International Court of Justice? (1984) ISBN 0-85494-832-5

UN reports

  • Report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to UN Commission on Human Rights resolution S-51/1 of 19 Oct 2000 to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories after 28 September 2000. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights E/CN 4/2001/121 of 16 March 2001
  • Report on Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine GAOR 56th Session A/56/440 of 4 October 2001
  • Report on Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights E/CN/4/2002/32
  • Report on Israeli Practices affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory GAOR 60th Session A/60/271 of 18 August 2005
  • Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel since 1967 ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights E/CN 4/2006/029 of 22 December 2005.


  • The judicial process, positivism and civil liberty (1971) ISBN B0006COV9I
  • Independent homelands: Failure of a fiction : 1979 presidential address (1979) ISBN B0006E8KNO
  • A national strategy for 1980: Presidential address, 1980 (1980) ISBN 0-86982-183-0



  • International Criminal Law and Procedure, with Christine Van Den Wyngaert (1996) ISBN 1-85521-835-6
  • Documents on International Law: Handbook for Law Students and Constitutional Lawyers, with Neville Botha, Patric M. Mtshaulana (1996) ISBN 0-7021-3532-1

Other writings

  • "The future of International Law : A Human Rights perspective with some comments on the Leiden School of International Law". Leiden, Rede uitgesproken door Prof.dr. C.J.R. Dugard ter gelegenheid van zijn afscheid als hoogleraar Internationaal Publiekrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden (Lecture, 2007)
  • "Diplomatic Protection and Human Rights: The Draft Articles of the International Law Commission". 24 Australian Year Book of International Law, 2005, pp. 75-91.
  • "September 11, 2001. A Turning Point in International and Domestic Law". In: Eden, P. & O'Donnel, T. (Eds.), The Problem of the Definition of Terrorism in International Law, 2005, pp. 187-205.
  • "The Role and Recognition in the Law and Practice of Secession". In: Kohen, M. (Ed.), Secession: International Law Perspectives, 2005, pp. 94-132.
  • "Immunity, Human Rights and International Crimes". Journal of South African Law, 2004, 482
  • "A Legal Basis for Secession: Relevant Principles and Rules". In Dahlitz, J. (Ed.)Secession and International Law. Conflict Avoidance Regional Appraisals, 2004, pp. 89-96.[26]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae Archived 23 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Centre congratulates Prof John Dugard on Presidential recognition of his contributions to law and human rights in South Africa". Center for Human Rights: University of Pretoria. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Mr John Dugard: Professor of International Law" (PDF). UN Treaty.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) John Dugard Retrieved 27 June 2011
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 February 2005. Retrieved 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ UN says Gaza crisis 'intolerable' BBC News Online, 26 September 2006
  9. ^ "Visiting Distinguished Professor John Dugard nominated to serve as a judge on the International Criminal Court". Duke Law News. 25 November 2008.
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ a b Johnston, Alan (23 February 2007). "UN envoy hits Israel 'apartheid'". BBC News. Retrieved 2007.
  12. ^ Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard, Human Rights Council | Fourth Session, January 29, 2007
  13. ^ McCarthy, Rory. "Occupied Gaza like apartheid South Africa, says UN report", The Guardian, 23 February 2007.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ UN expert: Palestinian terror 'inevitable' result of occupation
  16. ^ UN envoy hits Israel 'apartheid'
  17. ^ Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard, Human Rights Council | Fifth Session, January 21, 2008.
  18. ^ "Human Rights Council elects Advisory Committee Members and approves a number of Special Procedures mandate holders". United Nations. 26 March 2008. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  19. ^ Dugard, John (12 August 2009). "Two States or Apartheid?". Huffington Post.
  20. ^ Dugard, John (4 November 2011). "Apartheid and the Occupation of Palestine". Al Jazeera.
  21. ^ Dugard, John (3-4 April 2012). "The legal status of Palestinian political prisoners in international law with Special Reference to Prisoners of War Status" (PDF). United Nations.
  22. ^ Dugard, John (September 2012). "Britain's betrayal of the sacred trust in Palestine, Prof John Dugard". Middle East Monitor. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "52 Leading International Figures Call for a Military Embargo on Israel". Middle East Monitor. 28 November 2012. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ "ADL to U.N.: Dismiss Official with Overt Bias Against Israel". Anti-Defamation League. 15 October 2004.
  25. ^ "Five Facts About John Dugard". UN Watch. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013.
  26. ^ a b "Prof. dr. J. Dugard". Universitet Leiden.
  27. ^ "Mr. John Dugard". Audiovisual Library of International Law.

External links

  • [3], Website Leiden University (accessed 28 Jan. 2016)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes