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South African Judge Visits ODU

South African Judge Visits ODU

Judge Leona Theron, judge of the High Court of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal Province) and candidate for a seat on the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court, visited Old Dominion University Thursday, Sept. 24.

Theron spoke with students and faculty on legal issues relating to the profound political and social changes occurring in South Africa since the historic election of President Nelson Mandela. Drawing from years of professional experience, she also discussed her successful career in human rights and legal advocacy.

The Graduate Program in International Studies hosted a brown bag lunch discussion, and the Department of Women's Studies and the Office of Intercultural Relations hosted a discussion group in the afternoon.

Theron received her master of law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1990, practiced as an advocate in South Africa and lectured at the University of Natal. In 1999 she was appointed as a judge - becoming the first black female judge to be appointed in KwaZulu-Natal and, at the age of 32, the youngest judge in the country. She has served as an acting judge in the Supreme Court of Appeal and has adjudicated some of South Africa's most high-profile legal cases.

Theron was here as the guest of ODU Ambassador-in-Residence Bismarck Myrick, lecturer in history and political science, and his wife, Marie Pierre. Ambassador Myrick headed several U.S. diplomatic missions in southern Africa, including service as consul general in KwaZulu-Natal, Theron's home province.

This highlight was posted on: September 25, 2009

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