The Last Years Of Apartheid: Civil Liberties In South Africa
By John Dugard, Nicholas Haysom, and Gilbert Marcus
Ford Foundation and Foreign Policy Association, 1992, 254 pp.
In A Time Of Trouble: Law And Liberty In South Africa's State Of Emergency
By Stephen Ellmann
Clarendon Press, 1992, 283 pp.
These two books consider the workings of the South African legal system over the last decade. Dugard and his colleagues present an authoritative survey of the country's segregation and security laws and the state's unbridled application of the latter when faced with mass revolt. Future constitutional options and the current underrepresentation of blacks in the administration of justice are also discussed. Ellmann's book, a landmark study of South Africa's highest court, raises an ethical dilemma: When laws make a mockery of rights and justice, should judges and lawyers resign? The author examines the subtle but crucial role of South African legal tradition and practice in tempering the cruelties of apartheid and suggests that the defense of human rights through the courts in other repressive societies may likewise not be entirely fruitless.