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Africa has received its fair share of coverage in the legal press in recent months, thanks to the interest being shown in the continent by international law firms. While challenges still remain, there is plenty of optimism about the future of the continent. At The African Legal Awards, hosted by Legal Week last month, George Bizos, the human rights lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela at his trial and later became a personal friend, struck an upbeat note by proclaiming his faith in the South African constitution, which, he said, may protect the assets of the wealthy but also upholds the rights of the poor. He added pointedly: “Some of my fellow South Africans say that nothing has changed – they are quite wrong.”

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