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Judging in Black and White

Decision Making in the South African Appellate Division, 1950-1990

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Stacia L. Haynie

Despite the increasing recognition of judges as political actors, few studies have empirically explored the role and function of courts in repressive regimes. Based on individual case studies as well as empirical analyses of all the reported decisions of the highest appellate court in South Africa, Judging in Black and White: Decision Making in the South African Appellate Division, 1950-1990 creates a portrait of the individuals who staffed the bench during the rise and fall of apartheid. This book explores the dilemma of judging in a system that juxtaposes the formal law and the repressive law. Regardless of their adherence to a formal-law approach to judging, the adjudicative function cannot be fully separated from the larger moral questions embedded in these systems. This text evaluates the response of judges to this dilemma through institutional, individual and longitudinal analyses of judicial decision making.