Sachs Talks Art and Democracy: A Conversation with Albie Sachs, renowned human rights leader and former South African Constitutional Court Justice

November 18, 2013
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20016
Room 603



The presentation will begin with a multimedia tour of the South African Constitutional Court, a world-renowned building with special warmth and humanity that reflects Sachs’ own deep interest in art and architecture. Developed on the site of the infamous Johannesburg prison that held Gandhi and Mandela, the building and art collection boldly illustrate the post-apartheid spirit of an emerging nation in all its diversity. Following the presentation, Justice Sachs will discuss the South African experience of healing divided societies, and the special role of arts and culture in an emerging democracy.

A chief architect in South Africa’s post-apartheid Constitution, Justice Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela in 1994 to 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 the sight in one eye. Sachs is the author of several books, including Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (2000), The Free Diary of Albie Sachs (2004), and The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law (2009). The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs was adapted for stage by David Edgar, and a film biography is in production. Sachs holds B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Cape Town and a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex.





WCL Alumni, AU & WCL Students, Faculty & Staff – no charge
General Public - No Charge
(registration is required)

For further information, please contact:
Office of Special Events & Continuing Legal Education
American University Washington College of Law
Phone: 202.274.4075; Fax: 202.274.4079; or



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