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Hans Joachim Berker (1924–1992) was a
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and eas ...
n judge. He served as the first Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of Namibia from 1990 to 1992.


Biography

Berker was born on 28 March 1924 in
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central European Time, CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central European Summer Time, CEST , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_co ...

Hamburg
,
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. His family moved to
South West Africa South West Africa ( af, Suidwes-Afrika; german: Südwestafrika; nl, Zuidwest-Afrika) was the name for modern-day Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic ...
in 1928, and Berker attended school in
Windhoek Windhoek (, , ) is the capital and largest city of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the ''Khomas Highland'' plateau area, at around above sea level, almost exactly at the country's geographical centre. The population of Windhoek in ...
. He obtained a B.A. from
Rhodes University Rhodes University is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the socio ...
in
Grahamstown Makhanda, commonly known as Grahamstown, is a town of about 70,000 people in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demograph ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...
, and later an LL.B from Oxford University, United Kingdom. During his career Berker was known to be a liberal who opposed apartheid. He defended SWAPO activists Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo, accused of the 1975 assassination of a senior church figure of former Ovamboland. Berker became president of the High Court in Windhoek on 1 March 1983, succeeding Frans Badenhorst. He later served as Judge President of the Supreme Court of South West Africa. On 21 March 1990, the day of Namibian independence, he was appointed Chief Justice at the newly founded Supreme court, Supreme Court of Namibia. After his death he was succeeded by Ismael Mahomed.


Private life

Berker was married to Marianne Berker, née Leis. He was an avid sportsman in his private life, winning Class II of the 1973 Cape to Rio yacht race. Berker died in Windhoek on 5 July 1992.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Berker, Hans Joachim 1924 births 1992 deaths White Namibian people German emigrants to Namibia Rhodes University alumni Alumni of the University of Oxford Chief Justices of Namibia Namibian lawyers People from Windhoek 20th-century Namibian lawyers