Sunday, July 8, 2012

13. Courting Justice

I surely hope my being here will inspire other young women...

This documentary created by Ruth B. Cowan and directed by Jane Lipman focuses on female judges in the judicial system in South Africa.  According to the film in 2008, women comprise 18% of the judiciary. 

The DVD box states that 'Courting Justice profiles indomitable female judges charged with the task of advancing those rights and enacting transitional justice while confronting the challenges of a male dominated institution.  This dynamic film examines the transformation to democracy through the intimate and inspiring stories of women working for change from the bench'. 

The DVD comprises of interviews with a number of female and male members of the judiciary in the Constitutional Court of South Africa, considered to be a leading court in the field of socio-economic rights.  As Justice Nkabine states in the film, the court is admired wherever she goes.

In the past the judiciary acted as a machinery for apartheid, with prosecution of 'inter-racial' couples and courts upholding the regime.  The judges in the film therefore place great importance on the Constitution and recognise the importance of diversity.  Being black, being a woman, being rural are all cited as important things which provide different perspectives.

An interesting glimpse into the South African system and the human stories of the judges.  More information here:

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