Posts Tagged ‘Albie Sachs’

Report of the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture 2019

July 24, 2019

Panelists at the 2019 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture

The Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture was held at the Graduate Institute 18 July 2019 [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/07/12/nelson-mandela-human-rights-lecture-in-geneva-on-18-july-2019/]. For the lecture, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, were present to share their incredible personal experiences of fighting for human rights.

Establishing the Rule of Law in South Africa as a form of ‘Soft Vengeance’ against Apartheid

A piece of paper, a body, a voice and the dreams of millions of people, including our hope; for those of you in the audience, that’s my text for today’, began Mr Sachs, who had fought against apartheid since age 17, was appointed by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 1994 and played a critical role in the creation of the first draft of South Africa’s Bill of Rights, adopted in 1996 by the South African parliament as an integral part of the South African Constitution. Mr Sachs explained that his efforts to establish a rule of law in South Africa were a form of ‘soft vengeance’ against apartheid, exemplified through his own, personal tribulation. On 7 April 1988 in Mozambique, as a result of a car bomb, he lost his right arm. …Commenting on the trial of one of the accused car bombers, Mr Sachs said, ‘My vengeance will be if the person receives a fair trial, and if his guilt is not beyond doubt, will be acquitted, because this will prove that we will have established the rule of law’.

Standing Up and Acting for Change

Michelle Bachelet recounted her own experience as a human rights defender. She told of dictatorship in Chile, the torture and killing of her father and her mother’s detention. In defiance of the anger she felt at her family’s situation, she found the perseverance to stand up and act for change, becoming the first woman President of Chile (dually elected), then Executive Director of UN Women, and eventually replacing Zeid Raad Al Hussein in 2018 as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

‘[…] the world today faces complex challenges, challenges too big for one country, challenges that do not respect borders’, she said. ‘[…] And we see a pushback on human rights. And I say, let’s pushback the pushback’.

Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture Michelle Bachelet

Video of the Lecture. You can watch here the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture in its entirety.

https://www.geneva-academy.ch/news/detail/247-human-rights-warriors-tell-their-stories-at-the-nelson-mandela-human-rights-lecture

 

Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture in Geneva on 18 July 2019

July 12, 2019

On the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, and Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will reflect on today’s challenges to human rights and how to move the human rights agenda forward based on their personal experiences.

THURSDAY 18 JULY 2019, 18:00 – 19:30  AUDITORIUM IVAN PICTET | MAISON DE LA PAIX, GENEVA

Welcome remarks:

  • Andrew Clapham, Professor of Public International Law, the Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, Ambassador, South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva

Keynote speech:

  • Albie Sachs, Former Judge, Constitutional Court of South Africa

Discussion with:

  • Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Christof Heyns, Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Pretoria (moderator)
  • Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, Ambassador, South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva
  • Albie Sachs, Former Judge, Constitutional Court of South Africa

Closing remarks:

  • Frans Viljoen, Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

The Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture is presented by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, the Washington College of Law at the American University, the Human Rights Council Branch at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in collaboration with the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

This lecture is part of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition and will be followed by a reception.

https://graduateinstitute.ch/communications/events/nelson-mandela-human-rights-lecture