Justice Yvonne Mokgoro

Yvonne Mokgoro is Chairperson of the South African Law Reform Commission.

Yvonne was a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in 1994 until the end of her 15 year term in 2009.

After completing her LLB she was appointed Maintenance Officer and Public Prosecutor in the then Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court. In 1984 she was appointed Lecturer in Law in the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of Bophutatswana, where she rose through the ranks to become Associate Professor. From 1992 to 1993 she served as Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape, from where she moved to the Centre for Constitutional Analysis at the Human Science Research Council serving as Specialist Researcher (Human Rights).

Yvonne has lectured on a number of subjects including Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law Jurisprudence, History of Law, Comparative Law, Criminal Law, Private Law and Customary Law at universities in South Africa, UK, USA and the Netherlands.

During her career she has served on a number of organisations, including:

  • The Advisory Committee of the South African-Canadian Linkage Project
  • Africa Legal Fund (President)
  • Various Boards, University Councils and Trusts including the Boards of the Nelson Mandela-Rhodes Trust and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria
  • Venda University Council (Chairperson)
  • The Selection Committee of the Press Council of South Africa (Chairperson)
  • International Women’s Association (Washington DC)
  • International Association of Women Judges
  • International Federation of Women Lawyers
  • South African Women Lawyers Association

She is honorary (emeritus) Professor of Law at the University of the North, the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa. She has been conferred with the Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by the University of North West, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Toledo (Ohio, USA), the University of the Western Cape, the University of Pretoria and the University of Pennsylvania (USA). 

She is a recipient of a number of other honours and awards. These include:

  • Educational Opportunities Council Scholarship (USA)
  • Women’s Law and Public Law Fellowship (Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington DC)
  • Human Rights Award (Black Lawyers Association)
  • Oude Molen Reserve Order of Merit
  • Legal Profession’s Woman Achieved Award (The Centre for Human Rights)
  • Excellence Award (University of Pretoria and University of the North Schools of Law
  • Kate Stoneman Democracy Award (Albany Law School, New York)
  • Tshwane Outstanding Service Award
  • James Wilson Award (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

Yvonne was appointed to serve as Special Ambassador for the University of Venda in 2009.

Additional Info

  • Designation: South African Law Reform Commission (Chairperson)