The Oxford Martin School Human Rights for Future Generations Programme and the Oxford Human Rights Hub would like to congratulate Judge Dhaya Pillay for her nomination for a seat on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Judge Pillay was a programme associate at the OxHRH and the HRFG Programme between January and April 2014.  She is one of four women nominated for the vacancy.

The South Africa Judicial Service Commission conducted interviews for the vacancy earlier this month, and all four candidates were recommended to the President of South Africa as potential appointments.  The final decision lies with the President and an announcement on the successful candidate is expected soon.

Judge Dhaya Pillay is a defender of human rights and an expert in labour law Dhayanithie Pillay was appointed as a judge of the High Court in Pietermaritzburg and Durban in 2010. Prior to this she was a judge of the Labour Court of South Africa for 10 years.

Admitted as an attorney in 1982, Pillay was drawn to the plight of political detainees, specialising in human rights and administrative law disputes arising the various emergency and security laws in force at the time. She was recognised as a human rights defender by the Amnesty International SA Durban Group in 2005. After turning to labour law and industrial relations, Judge Pillay was selected to be involved in the drafting of key pieces of national legislation, including the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the new Labour Relations Act, and clauses of the Constitution relating to the Public Service Commission and Electoral Commission. She has been a Senior Commissioner (part-time) of the CCMA since 1996 until her appointment to the bench.

Judge Pillay’s legal acumen has been internationally acknowledged, most recently through her appointment as a visiting professor for the Open University in the United Kingdom. She has published and presented more than 40 papers during her career.