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Kathleen Satchwell, commonly known as Kathy Satchwell, is a judge of the High Court, Transvaal Provincial Division, in South Africa.


She was educated at Rhodes University in the 1960s.[1]

She was a prominent human rights attorney in the 1990s. She gave evidence before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the role of the legal system in contributing to the violations of human rights in South Africa under apartheid.[2] In 1999 she was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to be Chairperson of the Road Accident Fund Commission.[3]

In September 2001, Satchwell, an open lesbian,[4] won the right for her partner to enjoy the same benefits as those previously reserved for spouses of married heterosexual judges. [5] This right was confirmed by the Constitutional Court in 2002. This decision is seen as one of five key decisions that set the status of same-sex civil unions in South Africa.




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