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Andrea Gabriel SC

Andrea Gabriel SC

Society of Advocates of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Andrea Gabriel SC completed her BA and LLB degrees at the former University of Natal, Durban, where she also worked for the Community Law Centre, part-time as a student and full-time after graduating. There her focus was on training and mentoring of paralegals from a wide range of communities in rural KZN.

After completing her LLB in 1993, Ms. Gabriel was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to read for an LLM degree at Georgetown University, USA, where she focused on constitutional law. This focus was driven by the impending entry of constitutionalism in South Africa in 1994.

On returning to South Africa, Ms. Gabriel was appointed a researcher to then Justice, later Chief Justice, Pius Langa at the newly formed South African Constitutional Court. This gave her the privilege of being among the initial set of 11 researchers appointed in the first years of the Constitutional Court.

After working at the Constitutional Court, Ms. Gabriel was awarded a further scholarship to read for an MPhil degree at the National Law School of India in Bangalore where she wrote her dissertation on socio-economic justice, while lecturing on constitutional law.

Ms. Gabriel commenced practice as an advocate at the Durban Bar in 1998. She was awarded the status of senior counsel in 2010. Ms. Gabriel has had the privilege of appearing in several important cases before the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. She has a number of reported cases in the law reports which reflect her interest in the fields of public law, environmental, property and tax law, as well as general commercial and civil litigation practice.

Of these cases, the hard-fought battle to preserve South Africa's first World Heritage Site (iSimangaliso Wetlands Park), the battle to end captive lion hunting and the preservation of South Africa's oldest Marine Reserve (Tsitsikama Marine Reserve) count amongst her 'manna for the soul' victories. Her work at the Bar earned her an award from the Convocation of her alma mater University for 'Outstanding Contribution to Human Freedom and Endeavour,' prior to her taking silk in 2010.

Over the years, Ms. Gabriel has been elected to positions within the KZN Society of Advocates, the General Council of the Bar and she is currently in her second term as Deputy Chair of the KZN Legal Practice Council. Ms. Gabriel also sits regularly as an arbitrator in civil matters. She most recently completed her sixth stint as an Acting Judge in the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court and has been a former speaker at the Barristers and Advocates Forum.

Ms. Gabriel, along with four of her female colleagues, established the Alpha Group in the middle of the Covid Pandemic and Lockdown in 2020. The group focuses on mentoring and training of young, women advocates at the Bar, while simultaneously keeping chamber and practice expenses as low as possible.

In her non-legal time, Ms. Gabriel has and continues to give her time to animal welfare and social public interest community projects and NGOs. In her spare time, she enjoys soap-making, mosaic and stained glass craft, woodwork, gardening and, most of all, giving and receiving love and affection to and from her seven pets (whose further particulars are freely available on request).

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