Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Justice Albie Sachs To Give Dean’s Lecture January 26


On January 26, renowned human rights activist and former South Africa Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs will give a Dean’s Lecture at Yale Law School. The lecture, open to the public, is titled “The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law,” also the title of Sachs’ new book. The lecture will take place from 1-2 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge. Following the lecture, Sachs will sign copies of his book beginning at 3 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at 77 Broadway.

A chief architect of South Africa’s post-apartheid Constitution, Justice Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela in 1994 to serve on the country’s newly established Constitutional Court, where he served until his retirement in 2009. The appointment followed decades of anti-apartheid activism, during which Sachs was raided by the security police, subjected to banning orders restricting his movement, and twice detained in solitary confinement without trial for prolonged periods. He eventually went into exile, spending eleven years studying and teaching law in England and another eleven years in Mozambique, where he worked as a law professor and legal researcher. In 1988, he was the target of a car bombing by South African security agents, which cost him his right arm and sight in one eye.

He is the author of numerous books, including Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (2000), which chronicles his response to the 1988 car bombing, and The Free Diary of Albie Sachs (2004). His newest, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, was published by Oxford University Press in August 2009.

In addition to his work on the Court, Sachs has travelled to many countries sharing South African experience in healing divided societies.

He holds B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Cape Town and a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex.

Those wishing to attend the lecture should RSVP by January 19 to Marianne Dietz, marianne.dietz@yale.edu.