Hugh Corder

Emeritus Professor and Senior Scholar

Room 5.42 - Kramer Law Building


Hugh Corder has been Professor of Public Law at UCT since 1987 and a Fellow of the University since 2004. Further, he has has had Emeritus status and is appointed as Senior Research Scholar in the Public Law department since his retirement as the Chair of Public Law at the end of 2019. A graduate of the universities of Cape Town, Cambridge and Oxford, his main teaching and research interests fall within the field of Constitutional and Administrative Law, particularly judicial appointment and accountability and mechanisms to further administrative accountability.

Professor Corder has been widely involved in community work since his student days, concentrating on popular legal education, human rights and the abolition of the death penalty. He served as a technical adviser in the drafting of the transitional Bill of Rights for South Africa in 1993. He has written two books, co-authored two and edited a further nine, and has contributed many articles and chapters in books.

Expertise/ Research Interests

Comparative administrative justice in the British Commonwealth, Administrative Law Reform in South Africa, the Separation of Powers from the Judicial perspective.


Administrative Justice, the Judicial Process and Politics, Foundations of SA Law

Areas of Supervision
Administrative Justice and the Judicial Process.

Select publications

  • Judges at Work (1984).
  • Essays on Law and Social Practice (1988)(Ed).
  • "Crowbars and Cobwebs: Executive Autocracy and the Law in South Africa" (1989)5 SAJHR 1.
  • Empowerment and Accountability (1991).
  • Understanding South Africa's Transitional Bill of Rights (1994) (with Lourens du Plessis).
  • "Towards a South African Bill of Rights" (1994) 57 Modern law Review 491-5.
  • "The Constitutionalisation of South African Administrative Law" (1997)3 European Public law 541-559.
  • "Administrative Justice: A Cornerstone of South Africa's Democracy" (1998)14 SAJHR 38-5.
  • "From Separation to Unity: Accommodating Difference in South Africa's Constitutions during the twentieth century" (2000) 10 Transnational law and Contemporary Problems 539- 559
  • "From Prisoner to Patriarch: Transforming the Law in South Africa, 1985-2000" (2001) 118 SALJ 772-793
  • "Judicial Authority in a Changing South Africa" 2004 Legal Studies 232-253
  • "Judicial Activism of a Special Type: South Africa's Top Courts since 1994" in Brice Dickson(Ed) Judicial Activism in Common Law Supreme Courts (2007) 323-362
  • "Judicial Accountability" in Hoexter and Olivier The Judiciary in South Africa (2014) 200-244.
  • The Quest for Constitutionalism (2014) (Co-Ed)