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South African Judge to Visit ODU Today

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, will visit Old Dominion University today.

Theron will speak 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 will also discuss her successful career in human rights and legal advocacy.

The campus community is welcome to attend a brown bag lunch discussion, hosted by the Graduate Program in International Studies, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in 2002 BAL. Also, the Department of Women's Studies and the Office of Intercultural Relations will host a discussion group in the Burgess Room (9024) of the Batten Arts and Letters Building from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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 is 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 article was posted on: September 22, 2009

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