Prof Garth Abraham

President & CEO / Associate Professor (Full-Time): Law and Catholic Social Teaching

BA, BA Hons, MA (Natal), LLB (UCT), LLM (Wits)

Telephone: 
+27 (0)11 380 9030

Garth was appointed President and CEO of St Augustine College of South Africa in August 2015.  As President, Garth has overall responsibility for: the academic programme, financial management and fundraising, external liaison and marketing, and human resources.

Garth is a qualified attorney / solicitor of the High Court of South Africa; for seven years, he practised law (specialising in general commercial and labour litigation) with a large Johannesburg Law Firm.

He has extensive academic teaching and administrative experience.  Apart from his current position (in which he continues to lecture), he has lectured history for two years (1987 to 1988), and, between 1997 and 2015, he was an academic in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand; he is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at that institution.

For ten years (2003 to 2013), Garth was in the employ of the Pretoria Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  Amongst other things, he was responsible for developing relations between the ICRC and universities in the region; on an ad hoc basis, he acted as academic consultant for the ICRC to Anglophone delegations in Africa.  He was also responsible for relations between the ICRC and the multilateral organisations based in Southern Africa (including the Southern African Development Community, the Pan African Parliament and NEPAD).

Garth has travelled extensively in Africa, and has personal knowledge of 16 countries on the continent; some countries he has visited regularly and extensively.

He has published widely.  Apart from numerous articles dealing, inter alia, with various aspects of Public International Law, he has published a book on church / state relations in South Africa (The Catholic Church and Apartheid, 1948 – 1958), and has contributed chapters to a number of books.  Garth’s areas of academic interest are Public International Law, Jurisprudence, Legal History and Catholic Social Teaching.   His expertise in Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law is particularly recognised; he has acted as external examiner in the subject for four other South African universities and is regularly invited to deliver guest lectures on aspects of Public International Law and / or International Humanitarian Law in South Africa and beyond.

He is the founding (and, until 2013, was the principal) editor of the African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law, and is a member of the editorial board of a number of other journals, including The St Augustine Papers (St Augustine’s own in-house journal), and the South African Yearbook on International Law.

Garth is regularly invited to participate as a juror in local, continental and international student competitions.  He is the only African member of the 22 person international coordinating committee of the Jean Pictet Competition (the most prestigious international competition in International Humanitarian Law for university students).

Garth is married to Caroline de PELET ABRAHAM; they have three children: Charles, Alexander and Charlotte.

 

Education: 

Garth is a graduate of the University of Natal (MA in History), the University of Cape Town (LLB), and the University of the Witwatersrand (LLM). He is currently completing his PhD thesis through the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium, which thesis deals with the origins of African boundary disputes.

 

Publications: 

Books

‘Some Thoughts on Islam, Christianity and the September 11 Bombings’
                         in Garth Abraham et al
                         A New World Order? The Implications of 11 September 2001 (pp 1 – 8)
                         Johannesburg: SAIIA & Lancaster: Centre for Defence and International
                         Security Studies (2002)

Brassey’s Employment and Labour Law: Volume III: The Labour Relations Act
                         Co-authored (with Martin Brassey, Peter Buirski, Tanya Cohen, Nadine
                         Drutman & Shawn Kopel)
                         Kenwyn: Juta & Co (1999, 2000)

The Catholic Church and Apartheid.
                         Braamfontein: Ravan Press (1989)

 

Chapters in Books

‘South Africa and the Responsibility to Protect’
                         in Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: South Africa (pp 69 – 78)
                         Amsterdam: Amnesty International Netherlands (2016)

‘War and Emergency’
                         in The Law of South Africa (LAWSA) Second Edition; Volume 30 (pp 242 – 277)
                         Durban: Butterworths (2011)

‘Africa and its Boundaries, A Legal Overview: From Colonialism to the African Union’
                         in C Clapham, J Herbst & G Mills (eds) Big African States (pp 273 – 290)
                         Johannesburg: Wits University Press (2006)

‘Historical Jurisprudence’
                         in Christopher Roederer and Darrel Moellendorf (eds) Jurisprudence 
                         (pp 117 – 137)
                         Lansdowne, Cape Town: Juta (2004)

‘War and Emergency’
                         in The Law of South Africa (LAWSA) First Reissue; Volume 30 (pp 212 – 244)
                         Durban: Butterworths (2002)

‘The Privatisation of Security in Africa: The Contemporary Legal Environment’
                         in Greg Mills & John Stremlau (eds)
                         The Privatisation of Security in Africa (pp 81 – 106)
                         Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (1999)

‘Labour Relations’
                         in Johan de Waal, Iain Currie & Gerhard Erasmus (eds)
                         The Bill of Rights Handbook: 1998 (pp 295 – 308)
                         Kenwyn: Juta & Co (1998; updated in 1999 and 2000)

‘Indonesia and South Africa’
                         in South African Yearbook of International Affairs: 1998/9 (pp 93 – 99)
                         Johannesburg: SAIIA (1998)

‘South Africa and Regional Integration: SACU, SADC and COMESA’
                         co-authored with Caroline de Pelet
                         in South African Yearbook of International Affairs: 1997 (pp 130 – 147)
                         Johannesburg: SAIIA (1997)

 

Articles, Case Notes and Comments (Excluding Book Reviews)

‘R2P, the International Criminal Court and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities in Africa’
                        SAIIA Policy Briefing No 132
                        Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (April 2015)
                        [available at: http://www.saiia.org.za/policy-briefings/r2p-the-international-criminal-...]

‘Africa’s Evolving Continental Court Structures: At the Crossroads?’
                        SAIIA Occasional Paper No 209
                        Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (January 2015)
                        [available at: http://www.saiia.org.za/occasional-papers/africas-evolving-continental-c...]

‘Universal Jurisdiction and the African Union –“… the wrong side of history”?’
                         (2011) African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law (pp 129 – 150)
                        Claremont: Juta & Company (2012)

‘Paradise Claimed: Disputed Sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago’
                         (2011) 128:1 South African Law Journal (pp 63 – 99)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2011)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2006 (pp 128 – 138)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2009)

‘“Lines Upon Maps”: Africa and the Sanctity of African Boundaries’
                         (2007) 15:1 African Journal of International and Comparative Law (pp 61 – 84)
                         Edinburgh University Press (2007)

‘“Yes, … But does it have Personality?” The International Committee of the Red Cross and Sovereign Immunity’
                         (2007) 124:3 South African Law Journal (pp 499 – 513)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2007)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2005 (pp 137 – 162)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2007)

‘Terrorism and International Humanitarian Law’ (co-authored with CH Powell)
                         (2006) 1 African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law 2006 
                         (pp 118 – 147)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2006)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2004 (pp 102 – 114)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2006)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2003 (pp 122 – 143)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2005)

‘“Essential Liberty” versus “Temporary Safety”: The Guantanamo Bay Internees and Combatant status’
                         (2004) 4 South African Law Journal (pp 829 – 853)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2004)

‘The Commonwealth, Human Rights and Zimbabwe: Trouble in the Family?’
                         (2004) 11: 1 South African Journal of International Affairs (pp 147 – 172)
                         Johannesburg: SAIIA (2004)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2002 (pp 140 – 192)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2004)

‘“Africa the Tragedy, Africa the Challenge”’ Humanitarian Action and NEPAD
                         (2003) 85: 852 International Review of the Red Cross (pp 717 – 736)
                         Geneva: ICRC (2003)

‘Labour Law’
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2001 (pp 644 – 684)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2003)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2001 (pp 128 – 153)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2003)

‘Public International Law’ (co-authored with John Dugard)
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2000 (pp 103 – 121)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2002)

‘Labour Law’
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 2000 (pp 652 – 682)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2002)

‘Bombing for humanity: The American response to the 11 September attacks and the plea of self-defence’ (co-authored with Kevin Hopkins)
                         (2002) 119:4 South African Law Journal (pp 783 – 801)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2002)

‘Labour Law’
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 1999 (pp 524 – 556)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2001)

‘Portion 20 of Plot 15 Athol – “Some corner of a foreign field that is forever …” Angola?’
                         (2001) 118: 3 South African Law Journal (pp 441 ‑ 455)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2001)

‘“[I]n the path of the good Emperor Justinian”: Charles V and the impact of his legacy on the development of the South African common law.’
                         (2001) 118:3 South African Law Journal (pp532 ‑ 555)
                         Lansdowne: JutaLaw (2001)

‘Labour Law’
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 1998 (pp 567 – 626)
                         Kenwyn: Juta & Co (2000)

‘Labour Law’
                         Annual Survey of South African Law 1997 (pp 555 – 609)
                         Kenwyn: Juta & Co (1999)

‘Declaration on Religious Rights and Responsibilities: A Catholic Response.’
                         (1994) 111:2 South African Law Journal (pp344 ‑ 359)
                         Kenwyn: Juta & Co (1994)

 

Editorial Positions

Editorial Board, Law Journal of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Nigeria (2011 – present)

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law (2006 – 2013)

Editorial Board, African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law (2006 – present)

Editorial Board, South African Yearbook of International Law (2005 – present)

Assistant Editor, Annual Survey of South African Law (2001 – 2002)

 

Other Scholarly Contributions: 
  • Member of the Committee of the Jean Pictet Competition for International Humanitarian Law (2013 – present)
  • Member of the International Law Association (South African Branch) (2001 – present)
  • Member of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP, Brussels) (2014 – present)
  • Associate Member of i-HILT (Virtual platform on the history of international law), University of Tilburg
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2015 – present)