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Top South African judge visits Australia

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07-12-98 15:34:50 61262573775-> 123 FftXSTREAM SV235 Page 001

07/12 '98 MON 15:30 FAI +61 2 6248 0639 LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA @ 0 0 2

Media Release M onday 7 Dec. 1998

Top South African Judge Visits Australia

A senior South African judge is in Australia this week, to deliver a keynote address at a major Conference regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Judge Albie Sachs, a Judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, will speak at the conference. Human Rights, Human Values: What Do We Think Now?, organised by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The Conference will be held from 8-10 December 1998, in Sydney.

The Judge’s travel to, and attendance at, the Conference has been sponsored by the Law Council of Australia

The Conference coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), on Thursday 10 December 1998. The UDHR provides a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, is an international standard by which the conduct of governments is judged, and— in the view of many lawyers—has become part of customary international law.

Judge Sachs began his legal career as an Advocate at the Cape Town Bar in 1957. He worked mainly in the civil rights sphere, until he was twice detained without trial by the South African Security Police.

He was exiled from South Africa upon his release in 1966, and spent the next ten years in England In 1988, while he was drafting a new Civil Code for the Government of Mozambique, he lost his arm in an horrific car bomb attack.

In 1989, Judge Sachs became the founding Director of the South African Constitution Studies Centre


The N a t io n a l C o u n c il o r La w y e r s 19 To rr ens S tr e e t Br a d d o n ACT 2612 G P 0 Box 1989 Canberra ACT 2601 Teleph o n e .ยท (02) 6247 3788 In t e r n a l +612 6247 3788 Fa c sim il e : (02) 6248 0639 DXS719 Canberra EMAIL: m a il@ law cou acil.asn .au W e i SITE: h ttp ://w w w .law cou n cil.asn .an

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He took an active part in the negotiations for a new Constitution for South Africa, as a member of the Constitutional Committee (and the National Executive) of the African National Congress (ANC).

In 1994, Judge Sachs was appointed by the South African President, Nelson Mandela, to the country’s first Constitutional Court, He is the author of numerous books on human rights, culture, gender rights and the environment.

“It is a very great honour for the Law Council to be sponsoring Judge Sachs’ attendance at this very important Conference, given the Judge’s immense contribution to the South African justice system, and to international human rights’’ says the President of the Law Council, Mr Fabian Dixon.

“The Judge has been a brave, and important, contributor to the development of law and justice in South Africa, during a time of immense social and political unrest in that country.

“For this reason, he is an ideal person to be presenting a keynote address at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Conference, which is examining international human rights standards.”

Judge Sachs arrives in Canberra today, and will meet the Judges of the High Court of Australia tomorrow. He will then travel to Sydney tomorrow afternoon, where he will attend the Conference on Wednesday and deliver his keynote address on Thursday.

Judge Albie Sachs will be available for interview at various times during the week President of the Law Council of Australia, Mr Fabian Dixon, is also available for interview on (03) 6235 9311 bh, (03) 6223 1073 ah or (0418) 213 233.

Media contact: Patrick Daley on (02) 6247 3788 bh or (0419) 269 855.

Th e N a t io n a l C o u n c il o f L a w y e r s 19 Torr ens S tr ee t B raddon ACT 2612 G P 0 Box 1989 Canberra ACT 2601 Te l e t h o n s : (02) 6247 3788 Intern at : +612 6247 3788 Fa c sim il e : (02) 6248 0639 DX5719 Canberra EMAIL: n u i l @ l a w c o i i D c i l . a s i i . a u WEB SITE: h t t p : / / w w v . l i w c o n D c i l . a s n . a u