Glazewski's "healing" work wins UCT Book Award

10 July 2002
PROFESSOR Jan Glazewski's mammoth work, Environmental Law in South Africa, has won the prestigious UCT Book Award for 2002. Glazewski, from the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law, will receive the award at the June 21 graduation this week.

Glazewski launched his book to the UCT community in 2000 when the Dean of Law, Professor Hugh Corder, called it the "crowning glory" in his academic career.

It was a poignant occasion as Glazewski, a haemophiliac, used the celebration to disclose his HIV positive status. (He was infected 17 years ago following a transfusion using contaminated blood.) "Writing the book and living with HIV have many things in common," he said. "It's about healing; healing the environment and healing our attitudes towards this disease."

In his citation, Professor Danie Visser (Private Law) writes: "This is one of those rare works which is accessible and useful both to lawyers and to a more general audience. It is in the first place a law book. It intentionally approaches the issues of environmental law from a broad perspective and there can be little doubt that this work will contribute meaningfully to setting the parameters of this emerging field of law. At the same time, the book is encyclopaedic in nature, and, given the quality of its content, is set to become a standard textbook on environmental law in South Africa. But although the book is written for lawyers, it is cast in a style which opens it up to non-lawyers and thus promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the environment. Published to high acclaim from reviewers in all the major South African law journals, it is a book which places this new discipline firmly on the map in this country."

Acting Dean of Law, Professor Christina Murray, said, "The Faculty is delighted. Jan's book richly deserves it. It takes a major step towards establishing environmental law as a discipline in South Africa. It also manages to present discussion of more technical issues in a way that makes them accessible not only to lawyers but also to students and others.

"Most importantly, Jan doesn't see the concerns of environmental law narrowly. His approach integrates human and cultural needs with a concern for the protection of natural resources and he is alert to the special problems of protecting the environment in a developing country."

Speaking from Australia, Glazewski said he hoped the work would make a positive contribution to the further development of environmental law, thereby "securing a better life for all South Africans from the Sandton housewife to the Khayelitsha toddler."

Glazewski's award predecessors include Dr Nigel Penn (Historical Studies), who won the award in 2001 for his book Rogues, Rebels and Runaways, and Professor John Higgins (English Language and Literature) who collected the award in 2000 for his work Raymond Williams: Literature, Marxism and Cultural Materialism.

Meritorious Publication Awards were also made to Assistant Professor Jeremy Seekings for The UDF: A History of the United Democratic Front in South Africa, 1983–1991, Dr Graham Williamson for Richtersveld: The Enchanted Wilderness, and Associate Professor Stephen Watson for The Other City – Selected Poems.

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