NEWS RELEASE, 01/27/98

Renowned South African Judge Albie Sachs Lectures at UC Berkeley Feb. 2-5

by Julia Sommer

BERKELEY -- Justice Albert (Albie) L. Sachs, one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the new South Africa, will be 1998 Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley Feb. 2-5. The lectures are free and open to the public.

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. The Feb. 2 lecture will also cover the truth and reconciliation process. The Feb. 5 discussion panel will include Thelton Henderson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

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.

A white jurist, Sachs was a leader in the struggle for human rights in 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 Ph.D. at the University of Sussex. In 1977 he took up a position as law professor in Maputo, Mozambique. There, from 1983 to 1988, 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 lost an arm), Sachs went back to England. In 1992 he returned to South Africa and took part in negotiations for the new constitution as a member of the ANC.

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, and a new edition of the book is slated 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.


Justice Sachs Regents' Lectures & Discussions

Feb. 2, Monday, 8 p.m., Alumni House: "Violence, Trauma, and Recovery"

Feb. 3, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall

Follow-up discussion with anthropology professors Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Mariane Ferme, Paul Dottin, and Philippe Bourgois (chair of anthropology at San Francisco State University)

Feb. 4, Wednesday, 8 p.m., Alumni House: "Justice After Apartheid"

Feb. 5, Thursday, 4 p.m., Townsend Center Conference Room, 210 Stephens Hall

Follow-up discussion with Eric Stover, director of the Human Rights Center; philosopher Bernard Williams; Robert Price, professor of political science; and Thelton Henderson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

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