28 February 2013
Justice "Albie" Sachs, who was appointed judge to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by Nelson Mandela, will speak about his career as a human rights activist when he delivers the inaugural lecture of the UK's first Human Rights Collegium led by Queen Mary, University of London.
The HRC lecture Confessions of a Judicial Activist is a rare opportunity to hear Justice Sachs, a leading figure in the construction of post-Apartheid South Africa, and award-winning author who chronicled his own experience of human rights abuse after being arrested and placed in solitary confinement for nearly six months for his work in the freedom movement.
He also lost an arm and sight in one eye in a car bomb placed by South African Security Agents, after a long legal career defending people charged of security offences under Apartheid. After the bombing, Sachs devoted himself to preparing a new democratic constitution for South Africa and later served as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the African National Congress.
Led by International Human Rights specialist at QM, Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, the HRC provides scholarly expertise, research and teaching in the field from the School of Law at Queen Mary and the British Institute of Human Rights. Professor Van Bueren is also a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and was recently appoint to the role of honorary Queen's Counsel.
Professor Van Bueren said: “The Collegium is unique in the UK, if not globally, as it is the first collaboration of its kind between a university and NGO. We will be contributing to the progressive development of human rights and its benefit to the community including socio-economic rights; rights of women; international child rights and the rights of other vulnerable groups. The HRC has been established because we want to make Human Rights more popular, as it is essential that we protect the most vulnerable people in our society.”
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Queen Mary, University of London