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Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Professor Christopher ForsythThe Squire Law Library and the Faculty of Law are pleased to announce that an entry for Christopher Forbes Forsyth, Emeritus Sir David Williams Professor of Public International Law, has been added to the Eminent Scholars Archive.

Professor Forsyth was interviewed in person at his home in the Hertfordshire countryside on four occasions during April-June 2022. In addition to transcripts of the audio records, readers will find a photographic gallery and a list of his publications.

Christopher Forsyth was born in England in 1949, but his South African parents moved back to South Africa and settled in Vereeniging (in then what was the Transvaal) shortly after. He grew up during the troubled times immediately after the National Party had taken over the governing of South Africa in 1948, and had begun introducing their policies of apartheid. Christopher attended university at Pietermaritzburg where he initially studied mathematics, but later switched to Law. He obtained his LLB in Roman-Dutch Law in 1975.

Christopher went up to Gonville & Caius immediately afterwards, and obtained his Cambridge LLB, whereafter he returned to Cape Town and spent four years as a Senior Lecturer in Law (1978-81). He returned to G&C in 1982 to undertake a PhD under Colin Turpin, in which he analysed data on the role of the South African judiciary in implementing the apartheid laws. Christopher then became a fellow at Robinson College in 1983, where he has remained ever since. He later became Lecturer in Law, and progressed through a Readership to Professor of Public Law and Private International Law (2005-16). He was appointed the inaugural Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law in 2016. Professor Forsyth retired in 2017.

In the interviews, Professor Forsyth talks at length on matters arising from the implementation of Roman-Dutch law to the political and legal problems of South Africa, and of the various roles he has played in local (Cambridgeshire) policing matters, Parliamentary Committees, and as a Recorder (part-time judge) on the South Eastern Circuit. He also expounds his views on the grounds for judical review in the UK, which are set out in his revisions of Sir William Wade’s classic text Administrative Law.

The Eminent Scholars Archive is available to listen, or subscribe to, via the University Streaming Media Service, iTunes and most other podcast platforms.