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The School of Law welcomes Justice Moseneke at the Patrick McAuslan Annual Lecture

Lecture talked about contemporary challenges in South Africa and the need to address economic inequalities

The School of Law’s annual Patrick McAuslan Lecture was given this year by the eminent South African judge, Dikgang Moseneke on 20 January 2017, at the Law Society in Chancery Lane.

Justice Moseneke has served in South Africa’s Constitutional Court, both as the Court's Deputy Chief Justice and Acting Chief Justice. He is distinguished for his fearless commitment to the rule of law, social justice, democracy, and access to education.

Justice Moseneke's links to accessible education are poignant. He began his university degrees while serving a prison sentence on Robben Island, together with his friend Nelson Mandela, for opposing Apartheid. Arrested when he was 15, held in solitary confinement, tortured, and tried without legal representation - Moseneke went onto draft the interim constitution that ushered in democracy and transition from Apartheid.

During the lecture, Justice Mosenke spoke of the contemporary challenges in his country, especially in the context of student protests about the cost of university education. He commented on the need to redouble efforts to address economic inequalities if the aspirations of transformation are to be achieved.

Dr Stewart Motha, Acting Executive Dean of the School of Law, said: “Students and staff were honoured to welcome a person who has played such a central role in anti-colonial struggles, and who continues to work for racial justice. South Africans have benefited directly from his courage, integrity, and intellect. We were delighted to share an evening discussing the limits and possibilities of law and democracy".

The Annual Lecture commemorates the late Professor Patrick McAuslan who was involved in founding the School of Law at Birkbeck.

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