Date posted: 19 February 10, 00:00
By Albie Sachs
We asked Albie Sachs, a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, to comment on his current work and ideas that have influenced him…
Which of your own ideas have you been thinking about most recently?
Why do I confidently say that judges are among the great story-tellers of the twenty-first century?
What idea of someone else has made most impact on you recently?
Amartya Sen’s idea that a meaningful theory of justice should not aim to produce concepts of perfect justice, but rather to reduce levels of injustice in the world.
What is the most important book/article of ideas that everyone should read and why?
One sentence… Bertrand Russell’s statement that the most powerful word in the English language is ‘but’… but having made that proposition I must qualify it…
Albie Sachs’ career in human rights activism started at the age of 17, when as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he attended the Congress of the People at Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted. In 1966 he went into exile. 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. 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.
Albie Sachs visits the Bristol Festival of Ideas on 3rd March to talk about ‘Life, Law and Nelson Mandela’. Click here for more details and information about how to book.
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