The event will be a dialogue with Justice Sachs about contemporary human rights challenges in South Sfrica and the role South Africa plays in the region. It will be moderated by David Palumbo- Liu, professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University and Tim Stanton, director of the Overses Studies Program at Stanford University will be a discussant.
Sachs will also be offering guest lectures in Professor Helen Stacy’s course, INTNLREL 144: New Global Human Rights, and ANTHRO 125S: International Criminal Courts and the Question of Global Justice with Professor Ron Jennings. Sachs is further available – and eager – to speak with interested students and faculty throughout his visit. Interested parties should contact Jessica Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albert Sachs’s career in human rights activism started when he was 17 years old, continuing through college and into his law practice in Cape Town. In defending people charged under the state’s racist statutes, he attracted the displeasure of authorities and was initially subjected to “banning laws” restricting his activities, then arrested, and finally put into solitary confinement. Upon release from prison, he went into voluntary exile but never discontinued his human rights work. In 1988 in Mozambique, Sachs lost his arm and the sight of one eye when a bomb placed under his car by South African security agents exploded, but emerged from the ordeal with renewed idealism for his cause and what he describes as simple joy at being alive.
In 1990, Sachs returned to South Africa, where he worked to draft the constitution for the newly democratic country. In 1994, he was appointed by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court, where he served as judge until 2009, writing decisions that changed the face of human rights in South Africa, including a decision against the death penalty in 1995, a decision in favor of same-sex marriage in 2005, and several significant decisions about health care, access to clean water, housing and infrastructure.
He is the author of Soft Vengence of a Freedom Fighter, wich chronicles his response tothe 1988 car bombing, and five other books including The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs, which was dramatized for the Royal Shakespeare Company and broadcast by the BBC.