Draper Lecture 2020

Championing human rights and social justice globally

Justice Albie Sachs at the University of SussexJustice Albie Sachs at the University of Sussex

Our 11th annual Draper Lecture took place on Wednesday 4 March 2020. We were delighted to announce this year's guest speaker, Justice Albie Sachs. 

Albie came to Sussex when he first fled to exile from South Africa having been jailed, placed under solitary confinement and tortured for his involvement in the freedom movement. He gained his PhD at Sussex in 1972, his supervisor was Colonel Draper.

Albie was active in the anti-apartheid movement and the ANC, and as a result, was targeted by a car bomb in Maputo, Mozambique in 1988, where he lost an arm and the sight in one eye. Returning to South Africa in 1990, Albie became a member of the National Executive of the ANC and a member of the Constitutional Committee. He took part in the negotiations that made South Africa a constitutional democracy and was appointed by Nelson Mandela to serve in the Constitutional Court.

He went on to make landmark judgements including one that made South Africa the fifth nation to recognize same-sex marriage.

He has continued to be a champion for human rights and social justice globally, and we were delighted that he came back to Sussex to inspire students, faculty and our local community.