And Justice For All
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And Justice For All

Arthur Chaskalson and the Struggle for Equality in South Africa

Title Details

Pages: 864

Illustrations: 25 color photos

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Pub Date: 03/17/2020

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8428-7

List Price: $40.00


Pub Date: 07/15/2020

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8436-2

List Price: $19.95


NewSouth Books

And Justice For All

Arthur Chaskalson and the Struggle for Equality in South Africa

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  • Description
  • Reviews
And Justice For All: Arthur Chaskalson and the Struggle for Equality in South Africa is a biography of a remarkable life lived in service both to law and to the struggle for social change and justice. The social change it describes is the victory over apartheid, which was won on several fronts and through the efforts of people in many nations, but an important one of those fronts lay in the courts of South Africa itself. In exploring Chaskalson’s life and career, we appreciate more clearly the roles lawyers can play in social change and the achievement of a just social order, and at the same time we gain insight into the combination of upbringing, experience, and character that shapes a man first into a 'cause lawyer’ and then into a path-breaking and foundation-laying judge.
Arthur Chaskalson’s career spanned the decades of struggle against apartheid and the creation of a democratic South Africa, in both of which challenges he played a pivotal role. Steve Ellmann — who became the leading American authority on the role of law in that struggle and the development of constitutional law by the new Constitutional Court, of which Chaskalson was the first Chief Justice — was the ideal person to document and analyze his life and contributions. Both are greatly missed. This comprehensive account will be indispensable reading for anyone interested in law under stress and law’s emancipatory potential.

—Richard Abel, author of Politics by Other Means: Law in the Struggle Against Apartheid, 1980–1994

If there is something like a quiet hero of the South African revolution, then Arthur Chaskalson was that person. From his work as a young man defending Nelson Mandela and the others accused in the Rivonia Trial, to his founding of the Legal Resources Centre, to his appointment as the first president of South Africa's Constitutional Court, and then as president of the International Commission of Jurists, he served—and continues to serve—as a model of clarity, humanity, and integrity. If there was a form of politics in his work, it lay in matching the principles of law to the principles of justice and living that out in his life. This beautiful biography by Stephen Ellmann—deft, thorough, judicious, moving—lives on as a testament to its subject and also to the person who wrote it.

—Stephen Clingman, author of Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary

An impressive work of extraordinary scholarship.

—Midwest Book Review

It is not surprising that the Chaskalson family invited Professor Ellmann to write the biography of Justice Arthur Chaskalson. Professor Ellmann shares some traits with his biographical subject, including that they were both brilliant individuals with a deep love for the law and each possessed a disarming humility. They were also men of extraordinary depth and legal talent, unequivocally committed to the cause of social justice, particularly racial justice. Not surprisingly then, Ellmann's biography of Chaskalson, And Justice For All, is a story of remarkable human achievement, of resolute struggle against an evil political system, and he tells it with solicitous attention to detail. This notable new work is a must-read for all.

—Penelope Andrews, professor, New York Law School, president, Law and Society Association

And Justice for All is an astonishing work: astonishing in the magnitude of the effort, the authority of the writing, and its historical detail. Having been a close friend of Arthur Chaskalson for sixty-three years, I am amazed at Steve Ellmann's ability to synthesize and weave together a vast amount of history into one coherent work, one which demonstrates a good knowledge of and familiarity with South Africa, including its particular legal and political history. This is a book of utmost importance.

—Denis Kuny, legendary South African anti-apartheid defense lawyer (retired)

About the Author/Editor

An award-winning author on legal ethics and an expert in clinical legal education, constitutional law, and South African law, STEPHEN ELLMANN (1951-2019) also pursued his deep interest in legal education through his work as New York Law Schools' Director of Clinical and Experiential Learning. As a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama from 1977–1983, his practice included institutional reform litigation for mentally disabled people and prison inmates, voting rights cases, anti-Ku Klux Klan suits, and defense work in capital murder trials. While in Montgomery, Professor Ellmann began a long career in legal education by teaching courses on constitutional law and federal courts.