Justice Albert (Albie) L. Sachs, one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the new South Africa, will be a 1998 Regents Lecturer. A member of the South African Constitutional Court, Justice Sachs will lecture on "Violence, Trauma and Recovery" Feb. 2 and on "Justice After Apartheid" Feb. 4. Each lecture will be accompanied by a panel discussion the following day.
Born in Johannesburg in 1935, Sachs earned his law degree in Cape Town, where he was a civil rights lawyer in the '50s and early '60s. As a white jurist, Sachs was a leader in the struggle for human rights in Apartheid South Africa and a Freedom Fighter in the African National Congress. Twice he was detained without trial by the security police. In 1966 he went into exile in England, where he completed a PhD at the University of Sussex. In 1977 he took up a position as law professor in Maputo, Mozambique. There, from 1983 on, he also served as director of research in Mozambique's Ministry of Justice. After nearly being killed in 1988 by a car bomb planted by the South African security police, he went back to England. In 1992 he returned to South Africa and, as a member of the ANC, took part in the negotiations for the new constitution .
Sachs has written extensively on human rights, culture, gender and the environment. "The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs" was dramatized and performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. His account of his recovery from the car bombing, "The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter," was dramatized by the BBC; a new edition of that book is scheduled for publication by UC Press.
Sachs' campus lectures are co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Institute of International Studies, the Human Rights Center and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.