W&L Law School's Scholar-in-Residence to Give Public Lecture

Lexington, VA • Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jeremy Sarkin, Washington and Lee University School of Law's Scholar-in-Residence, will give a public lecture on Wednesday, April 5, at 12:30 p.m. in Classroom D of Lewis Hall.

In his talk, “Dealing with Apartheid Human Rights Violations: The Role of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” Sarkin will discuss how dealing with past injustices has been a crucial test for new democratic orders.

Facing the tensions between truth, justice, reconciliation, a transitional process entails tremendous challenges. South Africa's transition, and its Truth and Reconciliation Commission have been hailed as a model for other countries. This talk will examine the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission's work to determine what it did, how individuals got amnesty in exchange for truth, how effective that model was, and what lessons can be learned for other countries that wish to deal with past human rights violations.

Jeremy Sarkin is Senior Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town South Africa and the Frances Lewis Scholar-in-Residence at Washington and Lee School of Law. He has an undergraduate and postgraduate law degree from the University of Natal (Durban), a Masters in Law from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of the Western Cape.

He is an attorney in South Africa and in New York. He has worked on constitutional and transitional issues in various countries, including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Angola, Namibia and Burma. He has assisted various truth commissions in their work. He serves on the editorial board of a number of journals including the Human Rights Quarterly. He served as an acting judge in 2002 and 2003 in the Cape High Court.

He has published widely and his recent books are Human Rights, The Citizen and the State: South African and Irish Perspectives (2002); Carrots and Sticks: The TRC and the South African Amnesty Process (2004); The Administration of Justice: Comparative Perspectives (2004) and forthcoming Reconciliation in Transitional Societies (2006).

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