Clooney Foundation for Justice honours Justice Albie Sachs

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The former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Clooney Foundation for Justice in New York.

The co-founders of the foundation, George and Amal Clooney, hosted the inaugural “Albie Awards” at New York City’s Public Library.

The library is named after Justice Sachs who is revered for his commitment to ending Apartheid and as a world-renowned defender of justice.

The foundation says Justice Sachs received his honour from the former US first lady Michelle Obama.

Sachs was honoured for what the foundation describes as his seminal role in the anti-apartheid movement, his service in helping to write the South African Constitution and his 15 years on the Constitutional Court after being appointed by former President Nelson Mandela.

Michelle Obama was chosen to present the award to Sachs because of her staunch belief in the importance of justice.

The Clooneys say that Sachs helped prepare the Bill of Rights, never gave up in his fight against injustice, even losing his arm and sight in one eye when targetted by a car bomb in Mozambique in 1988, adding that they couldn’t think of anyone better to name the award after.

VIDEO: In May, Justice Albie Sachs was interviewed ahead foundation’s  inaugural awards on September 29, 2022:


According to the University of Cape Town, Sachs is a South African activist, lawyer, writer and former judge who was appointed by President Nelson Mandela in 1994 to serve on the first Constitutional Court of South Africa.

In this position, Sachs helped write the post-apartheid Constitution of 1996. His 15-year term at the court ended in 2009.

Sachs’s career in human rights activism began in 1952 when he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign while studying law at UCT.

He began his practice as an advocate at the Cape Bar at the age of 21, and much of his work involved defending people who had been charged under apartheid’s racist and oppressive statutes.

As a result of his anti-apartheid activities he was raided by the security police, subject to orders restricting his movement and put in solitary confinement for 168 days without trial.

After being detained twice he went into exile in 1966 and was later the victim of a car bombing executed by the South African security services, in which he lost his right arm and vision in one eye.