Professor Margaret Burnham

02.02.09 — Professor Margaret Burnham, a constitutional and criminal law expert, will be honored by South Africa Partners, Inc., on Feb. 7 in Boston, for her courage and vision in the anti-apartheid movement.

Burnham, a founding board member of South Africa Partners in 1999, has long been involved in human rights work. In 1993, Nelson Mandela appointed her to a three-member commission charged with investigating allegations of human rights violations made against members of the ANC. The commission’s report laid a foundation for the later work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She has served on a variety of human rights missions, in the Republic of South Africa, England and Guyana, South America, and is the author of numerous articles related to constitutional and comparative law.

Prior to joining the Northeastern University School of Law faculty, Burnham served as an associate justice of the Boston Municipal Court. Her legal career has also included private practice in civil rights and criminal litigation, service as a public defender and leadership roles with nonprofit and advocacy organizations. She is a founder of Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project , which addresses harms resulting from the massive breakdown in law enforcement during the civil rights movement, from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

For more information about the South Africa Partners 10th Anniversary Celebration, visit