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|Justice Edwin Cameron|
|Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa|
1 January 2009
|Appointed by||President Kgalema Motlanthe|
|Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa|
15 February 1953 |
Pretoria, South Africa
|Alma mater||Stellenbosch University,
Keble College, Oxford,
University of South Africa
Edwin Cameron (born 15 February 1953 in Pretoria) is a South African Rhodes scholar and current Constitutional Court justice. Cameron served as a Supreme Court of Appeal judge from 2000 to 2008. He was the first senior South African official to state publicly that he was living with HIV/AIDS. Cameron was inspired to act by the stoning and stabbing to death of Gugu Dlamini after she had admitted on a Zulu language radio that she was HIV positive.
Cameron was educated at Pretoria Boys High School; Stellenbosch University (Anglo-American Corporation Open Scholarship, BA in Law cum laude, BA Honours in Latin cum laude, Lecturer in Latin and Classical Studies); Keble College (Rhodes Scholarship 1975-7, BA Honours First-class in Jurisprudence and Jurisprudence Prize, BCL Honours First-class and Vinerian Scholar); and the University of South Africa (LLB cum laude and medallion for the best law graduate).
He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford in October 2003 and was a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford 2003-4, researching 'Aspects of the AIDS Epidemic, examining in particular the denialist stance supported by SA President Mbeki'.
Edwin Cameron was called to the Bar of Johannesburg in 1983, and from 1986 practised as a human rights lawyer at the University of the Witwatersrand's Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), where in 1989 he was awarded a personal professorship in law. While at CALS, he co-drafted the Charter of Rights on AIDS and HIV, co-founded the AIDS Consortium and founded and was the first director of the AIDS Law Project.
He took silk in 1994. In October 1994 President Nelson Mandela appointed him an Acting Judge of the High Court to chair a Commission into illegal arms deals. He was appointed permanently to the High Court in 1995. In 1999/2000 he served for a year as an Acting Justice in the Constitutional Court before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Between 1998 and 2008, he chaired the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the Patron of the Guild Cottage Children's Home, of the Soweto HIV/AIDS Counsellors' Association (SOHACA) and of Community AIDS Response (CARE).
Cameron has co-authored a number of books, including Defiant Desire – Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa (with Mark Gevisser) and Honoré's South African Law of Trusts. He is the general secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa (www.rhodestrust.org.za) and is a patron of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal.
He has received many awards and distinctions. These include an Honorary Fellowship of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, London; the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights (2000); Stellenbosch University's Alumnus Award (2000), Transnet's HIV/AIDS Champions Award and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Excellence in Leadership Award (2003). In 2002 the Bar of England and Wales honoured him with a Special Award for his contribution to international jurisprudence and human rights. In 2008 he served as a member of the Jury of the Red Ribbon Award, a partnership of the UNAIDS Family.
On 31 December 2008 President Kgalema Motlanthe appointed Cameron to the Constitutional Court, taking effect from 1 January 2009, on an existing vacancy.
On 30 June 2009 Edwin Cameron was appointed as an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.
He is the 2009-2010 winner of the Brudner Prize from Yale University. The Brudner prize is awarded annually to an accomplished scholar or activist whose work has made significant contributions to the understanding of LGBT issues or furthered the tolerance of LGBT people. He was most recently in the news for his open criticism of the South African film Spud, which in a letter to Ross Garland, its producer, he described as "gay-hating," although he prefaced this by saying that he had been "[t]horoughly and happily swept away by the fine acting". Garland, however, responded by accusing of advocating "censorship," and informed the press of his intention to seek legal advice about the possibility of suing for defamation.
- "Justice Edwin Cameron Profile" http://www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/text/judges/current/justicecameron/1.html
- "Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal - Board of Patrons". Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Letter from Justice Edwin Cameron to the producer of Spud The Movie.
- 'Spud not homophobic'.