Justice Sachs’ career in human rights activism started at the age of seventeen, when as a law student in Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. The bulk of his work at the Cape Bar involved defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws. After going into exile in 1966, he spent eleven years in England and eleven years in Mozambique as law professor and legal researcher. In 1988, he was blown up by a bomb placed in his car in Maputo by South African security agents, losing an arm and the sight of an eye. During the 1980s he helped draft the ANC’s Code of Conduct and statutes. In 1990, he returned home and as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the ANC took an active part in the negotiations which led to South Africa becoming a constitutional democracy. After the first democratic election in 1994, he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court, from which he retired last fall. For additional information on Justice Sachs, please visit the following link.
Justice Sachs will discuss his new book, “Reason and Passion: The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law,” which addresses the following subjects:
- Terrorism, Torture and the Rule of Law
- Punitive Justice vs. Restorative Justice
- Social and Economic Rights as Fundamental Human Rights
- Does the Law Have a Sense of Humor?
- The Secular and the Sacred: The Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry
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