Justice Edwin Cameron is one of South Africa’s most prominent judicial figures. First appointed to the bench by President Mandela in 1994, Cameron was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal for eight years and of the High Court for six, before serving as a Justice of the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court, from 2009 to 2019. He currently serves as Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and Inspecting Judge of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services.
Cameron was an outspoken critic of then President Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS-denialist policies, and in 2005 wrote a prize-winning memoir, Witness to AIDS, about his own experience of surviving AIDS, which won the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. His second book, Justice: A Personal Account, was published in 2014. Cameron was the first, and remains the only, senior official in Africa to state publicly that he is living with HIV/AIDS, for which Nelson Mandela once referred to him as “one of South Africa’s new heroes.”
A human rights lawyer before his decades on the bench, Cameron has received numerous honors for his legal and human rights work, including a special award by the Bar of England and Wales in 2002 for his “contribution to international jurisprudence and the protection of human rights.” He is an honorary fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, London, and of Keble College, Oxford (2003), as well as an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple, London (2008). He holds honorary doctorates in law from King’s College London (2008), the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2009), Oxford University (2011), the University of St. Andrews (2012), Stellenbosch (2015), and Sussex (2016).