Interview with Justice Albie Sachs on Soft Vengeance, Armenia-Turkey relations and other topics
We were glad to host Justice Albie Sachs in Armenia this fall and we are happy to present this interview, which we were able to videotape during the visit. In this interview Justice Sachs tells the story and ideas behind soft vengeance, presents democratic state building experience in South African Republic, and shares his thoughts on Armenia-Turkey relations and other interesting topics.
About our speaker
Justice Albie Sachs is a retired South African activist, lawyer, writer and one of 11 judges appointed by Nelson Mandela to serve on the first Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was imprisoned to solitary confinement for his actions as a lawyer and his anti-apartheid activities and was forced into exile. On April 7, 1988 he was the subject of an assasination attempt but miraculously he survived and recovered after a long year of rehabilitation in England. After this incident he introduced the concept of ‘soft vengeance’ which upholds the notion that rather than perpetuate a cycle of violence, one should enable those who perpetrate violence to understand and publicly acknowledge the great harm they cause, thereby advancing reconstruction for the nation, for the victims, and even for the perpetrators. For Albie Sachs, soft vengeance was the establishment of the rule of law, equality, justice, freedom and democracy in South Africa.
In 1990 Albie Sachs returned to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela. Albie Sachs helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court. He has worked to consolidate human rights in the country's justice system for 15 years. He received numerous awards for his work on human rights and justice as well as for the books he has published. In 2022, the Clooney Foundation for Justice started giving The Albie Awards, named in honor of Albie Sachs to honor the efforts of people who work relentlessly to fight for human rights and justice, by putting their lives at risk.