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Arthur Chaskalson

CHASKALSON, ARTHUR (1931– ), South African judge and human rights activist. Born in Johannesburg, Chaskalson was admitted as a member of the Bar in 1956 and became Queen's Counsel in 1971. He defended numerous anti-apartheid activists, serving on Nelson Mandela and others' defense team during the 1963–64 Rivonia Trial. In 1978, he founded the Legal Resources Centre, which was instrumental in opposing apartheid legislation. Shortly after South Africa's transition to a multiracial democracy in May 1994, he was appointed as the first president of the country's new Constitutional Court by President Mandela. He was appointed chief justice in 2001.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.