By E. Surty and Q. Patel
The human rights legacy of former Chief Justice Ismail Mahomed features in a biographical sketch titled Ismail Mahomed: Liberating the Law. A second book of commemorative essays examines contemporary issues arising from Mahomed’s legacy.
Justice Mahomed was a philosopher of law whose insights and analysis brought about refinements in the law that enlarged the scope of freedom and dignity during apartheid. He spent his life in the service of law to establish justice, contributing to laying the foundation for human rights. As a fearless advocate he challenged immoral and repressive legislation and executive action, developing the common law, especially in the areas of administrative and public law. As a judge, he was at the forefront of a radical and visionary constitutional transformation.
Mahomed’s vision of a human rights culture pre-dated our transition to democracy. We are constantly reminded of his deep love for and understanding of the law, his unmatched oratory, his passion and his unwavering commitment to human rights.
The book comprises four sections:
· Section one consists of a commentary, preceded by a foreword by President Cyril Ramaphosa;
· Section two consists of perspectives of Mahomed by colleagues, friends and family;
· Section three is a selection of his speeches that deal with a range of issues from philosophy to a Bill of Rights;
· Section four identifies some of his illuminating judgments.
The book is published by The Project Justice Trust.