Professor John Dugard is currently Emeritus Professor of International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He has a long and illustrious career as an academic and practitioner in international law bodies and at the United Nations. He has served on the International Law Commission, the primary UN institution for the development of international law, and has been active in reporting on human-rights violations by Israel in the Palestinian territories.
He obtained his BA (1956) and LLB (1958) degrees at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and a second LLB (1964) and LL.D degree, a diploma in International Law (1965) and an LL.D (1980), all from Cambridge University. His academic career began in South Africa at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he became Dean and Professor of Law (1978-1990). He became Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge from 1995 -1997. He has also been Professor of Law at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. He has held visiting professorships at Princeton University, Duke University, UC Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania, and University of New South Wales (Australia) and served as Arthur Goodhart visiting Professor of Legal Science, University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He taught at The Hague Academy of International Law.
He has held numerous prestigious offices including President of the South African Institute of Race Relations (1980-1991), Founder and member of the National Council for Lawyers for Human Rights (1980-1991) and Chancellor to Bishop Desmond Tutu (1985 -1987).
Professor Dugard has served as a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations since 1997 and became its Special Rapporteur on Diplomatic Protection. He was appointed as Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights inquiry for occupied Palestinian territory. He has been a member of numerous societies including the American Society of International Law, the International Law Association, Institut de Droit International and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
He has written several books and articles on apartheid, human rights, and international law, in addition to co-authoring textbooks on criminal law and procedure, and international law. He has also written extensively on South African apartheid. His latest publication is Confronting Apartheid. A Personal History of South Africa, Namibia and Palestine, Jacana, Johannesburg, 2018.