More than three decades after its original publication in the early 1980s, a new consolidated edition of Street Law South Africa was recently published by Juta and Company Ltd., featuring 20 new N.D. Mazin drawings mainly on gender themes (this aspect of South African law was thoroughly revised in the early 2000s) alongside more than 130 existing drawings by N.D. Mazin, Jeff Rankin, Themba Siwela and Grant Cresswell.
It was a great privilege to be approached in 2014 by Juta and Company, who informed me that they were preparing a new (3rd) edition of the Street Law Manual, which I originally designed and illustrated in the 1980s. The original six manuals are now incorporated into a giant 700-page tome, and I was asked to do 20 or so new drawings and a cover for the new book. The new drawings are mainly about sexual crimes and gender issues – aspects of South African law that have been thoroughly revised since the 2nd edition of the book was published in 2000.
Nearly 30 years ago, in 1986, I was approached by David McQuoid-Mason, a law professor at the University of Natal, to design and illustrate a series of manuals for a community-oriented legal education called Street Law, based on the programme devised by the Washington-based National Institute for Citizen Education in the Law (NICEL).
Thousands of law students, paralegals and public service officials and others have used Street Law over the intervening decades and I often meet people who know the books well. It’s great to know that my drawings and those of the artists with whom I collaborated in the production of more than 130 drawings for the original manuals – Jeff Rankin, Grant Cresswell and Themba Siwela – will be exposed to a new generation of legal minds.
For myself as an artist, it was a challenge to revisit a body of work I’d done so long ago and produce a new set of drawings in the same style.
Aimed at a wide range of users (trainers, law students, school learners, school educators, police and correctional services officers, security officers, trade unions, workers, women’s organisations, children’s organisations, youth groups, NGOs, CBOs etc.), the manual features learner outcomes, assessment criteria, problem and case study scenarios, mock trials and other exercises designed to encourage active learner participation.
The manual includes chapters on South African law and the legal system, criminal law and child justice, consumer law, family law, socio-economic rights and employment law.