The crime of apartheid in South Africa and beyond

Image of a burning flag

Date and Times

Thursday 22 June
09:00-17:30, followed by drinks reception

Friday 23 June


B63, Law and Social Sciences Building, School of Law, University of Nottingham


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Speakers and Chairs

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Apartheid – the Afrikaans word for the state of being separate or apart – is the ultimate slur in international politics. The crime of apartheid, like the crime of genocide, is a pejorative that provokes indignation from government officials accused of perpetrating it. No government wants to be accused of practising apartheid. No state wants to become an international pariah. And yet, despite the criminalisation of apartheid in widely ratified treaties, and the norm prohibiting apartheid constituting jus cogens, no official has ever been prosecuted for the crime against humanity of apartheid in South Africa or anywhere else.

So, what is apartheid, exactly? Is it an ideology, a doctrine, a system, a practice, a policy, or a grand plan for transforming society – as its adherents in South Africa once argued? Or is apartheid better understood as a war crime, a crime against humanity, and the ultimate violation of human rights?

Conference organiser: 

Dr Victor Kattan

Nottingham Research Fellow 

Conference videos:



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