Gender and the Judiciary in South Africa: A Review of the Documentary Film Courting Justice

Yale Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 1, WInter 2011

MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 9-01

6 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010 Last revised: 13 Mar 2011

Hannah Brenner

California Western School of Law

Date Written: December 17, 2010

Abstract

Despite an explicit constitutional commitment to address the gendered and racialized aspects of the South African judiciary, as of 2008, only eighteen percent of the judges on the South African Superior Courts were women. The documentary film Courting Justice, created by Ruth B. Cowan, features the individual and collective stories of seven of these judges. It reveals the power of the court as an instrumental agent of change in the post-apartheid era and examines how these judges fit into this framework. The film offers a profound contribution to the global study of law and gender and to an important body of work on women in the world's legal professions, a field that has not traditionally focused on South Africa as a site of exploration.

Keywords: South Africa, judiciary, judges, women, gender, apartheid, equality

Suggested Citation

Brenner, Hannah, Gender and the Judiciary in South Africa: A Review of the Documentary Film Courting Justice (December 17, 2010). Yale Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 1, WInter 2011; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 9-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727596

Hannah Brenner (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

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