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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 10. 1969.

Sir Richard 'contradicted'

Sir Richard 'contradicted'

A press release from the International Commission of Jurists, published in the tact issue of Salient, concerning a Commission report entitled "The Erosion of the Rule of Law in South Africa", apparently contradicted Sir Richard Wilde's much-publicised "I am satisfied that the rule of law is upheld in South Africa".

The Chief Justice's statement was the reason for an ill-fated motion at last term's S.G.M. condemning the awarding of his honorary degree.

Salient contacted Mr. David Williams, a junior lecturer in law who spoke in support of the motion, and asked him to comment.

Mr. Williams said he agreed with the Commission's report but felt that the Chief Justice should not be criticised on the basis of the apparent conflict.

"I must point out that the 'rule of law' referred to in the report in inverted commas cannot be equated with the rule of law about which Sir Richard spoke", he said.

Mr. Williams was of the opinion that the phrase was used by the Chief Justice in a more restricted sense than its use in the report, where it represented a more abstract ideal.

"I do, however, stand by everything I said at the S.G.M., because I feel that if Sir Richard says he is going to investigate the facts, he should investigate the allegation that apartheid is a crime against humanity.

"His statement made no criticism of the South African system—I don't feel we can afford to be tolerant about apartheid."