The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 49

n his history Bishops 150,
John Gardner wrote both
of the “inescapable” need to
acknowledge the careers and
achievements of ODs and “the
impossibility of being fair and
satisfying everyone” as the list
lengthens. This is certainly true
of Bishops lawyers.
The school has turned out many
judges. Two were Chief Justice
of South Africa. The first, John
Curlewis (matric in 1881), served
the final three of his 35 years on
the bench as CJ and was made a
privy counsellor. The second, Craig
Howie (1956G), is well known to
the current Bishops community
as an ODU Vice President.
Justice Howie was appointed
an acting judge in Grahamstown
at the age of 39 and ascended to
the Presidency (formerly Chief
Justiceship) of the Supreme Court
of Appeal in Bloemfontein 25 years
later in 2003. His former judicial
colleague RJW Jones said that
“his analytic mind, his sound
knowledge of the law and his
cross-examination, always
penetrative but courteous, set
him apart as a most formidable
opponent. Always a gentleman,
he never, ever lost his composure,
in or out of court.” Justice Howie
contributed to the development of
South African law as an advocate,
in his judgments and on the SA
Law Commission. Reflecting on his
Bishops career, he recalled Principal
Hubert Kidd as a “commanding
figure”, as well as the school’s
emphasis on the importance of
serving society in some capacity.
Memory work was encouraged
(“throw away those gobbets!”, i.e.
notes) and Latin (then, but now no
longer, compulsory in the LLB) was
of “some use” to his subsequent
legal career. Characteristically,
Justice Howie played down his
contribution to the 1st XV.
Other ODs on the bench have
included Chief Justices of Southern
Rhodesia (Sir Murray Bisset (1895),
Sir Robert Hudson (1901) and
Sir Hugh Beadle (1922)) and
the Federation (Sir John Clayden
(1919)). Hilary Squires (1949S),
whose obituary appears in The Old
Diocesan Issue 4, was also offered
a position as High Court judge
in Rhodesia, having served as
Prime Minister Ian Smith’s justice
minister and later defence and
combined operations minister. He
emigrated to South Africa in 1984,
however, and after re-qualifying
was appointed to the bench in
1988. His main interests included
Above: The late Hilary Squires was
justice minister in Rhodesia before
achieving local fame as the judge in
Schabir Shaik’s corruption trial.
maritime law and tax law. Many
will remember that he was thrust
onto our television screens as the
presiding judge in the corruption
trial of Schabir Shaik in 2005.
His guilty verdicts, which were
based on more than 12,000 pages
of evidence, were upheld on appeal
by the Supreme Court of Appeal
(Justice Howie presiding) and the
Constitutional Court.
Above, from left: Judge President of the Cape High Court Sir Malcolm Searle; Chief Justice of South Africa John
Curlewis; Donald Molteno, first chairman of the Liberal Party and Dean of UCT Law; all-round star Clive van Ryneveld.

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