On initiative of Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (NOVA FCSH) and Faculdade de Direito, NOVA granted the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Judge Albert Louis Sachs, former Judge of South Africa's Constitutional Court, in a ceremony held at the Rectorate on 14 February.
His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa attended this ceremony as well as other personalities such as the President of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Minister of Justice.
Professor Francisco Caramelo, Dean of NOVA FCSH, was the patron and Professor Teresa Pizarro Beleza, Dean of Faculdade de Direito, gave the laudation speech.
In the words of the Rector of NOVA, Professor João Sàágua, "this honorary doctorate gives due recognition and just homage to a notable personality for his role in the fight against Apartheid and in defense of democracy and human rights”.
Albie Sachs, name by which the Judge is known, was born in 1935 in South Africa and has dedicated his life to democracy, freedom and human rights in his country. He was a lawyer, Professor and activist, committed against Apartheid. He spent a period in jail and in exile, having lost his right arm and part of his sight in an attack when he was living in Mozambique.
He is one of the main authors of the text of the Constitution in his country, mainly the part that refers to the fundamental rights. After the first free elections in South Africa in 1994, he was nominated by Nelson Mandela as Judge of the new Constitutional Court. He is the author of several books, part of which reflect his work as a Judge and also as a resistant, democrat and constitutionalist.