For Dodson, a seasoned advocate who spent five years as a judge at the Land Claims Court (1995-2000), served as chairperson of the UN Housing and Property Claims Commission and is currently chairperson of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors Disciplinary Committee, the questions were certainly not run-of-the-mill.
Much like during his initial interview in October last year, which the JSC was forced to redo this month after the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) challenged its lawfulness and constitutionality, there were questions around Dodson’s white privilege.
He highlighted that his experience in the land claims court was focused on addressing the pain inflicted on rural and urban poor communities by forced removals.
"Before I even got into legal practice I was very much involved in the legal aid clinic at university. I have focused on trying to make the law an instrument that isn’t just there to regulate society but is also there to come to the assistance, where appropriate, of particularly rural communities but also urban poor communities. That was manifested by the human rights work I did as an attorney.”
Dodson was questioned about whether he thought the constitution stood in the way of radical land reform, to which he answered it was the opposite.
“Section 25 specifically addresses the problem of insecure tenure brought about by apartheid, and calls upon the state to address that and pass legislation to address that. Legislation has passed in relation to former homelands. There was the Communal Land Rights Act. Unfortunately that act was very poorly conceived and wasn't correctly passed through parliament. It tended to favour traditional leaders at the expense of rural communities and was the subject of an application in which I was involved, on behalf of communities, to have the law set aside."