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Mandela, The Lawyer

On the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial, experts and contemporaries of the late president reflect on the role of law in the struggle against apartheid

What role for law in the struggle against injustice? On 12 June 1964, Nelson Mandela and seven of his co-defendants in the Rivonia Trial were sentenced to life imprisonment for acts of sabotage against the apartheid regime. On the 50th anniversary of their sentencing, LSE hosts its official commemorative event to honour the life of Nelson Mandela. Eminent contemporaries and leading scholars of the late President of South Africa reflect on the role of law in the struggle against apartheid - and on Mandela, the lawyer. Against the dramatic backdrop of one of the most iconic trials of the twentieth century, the distinguished panellists discuss Nelson Mandela’s personal commitment to the idea of law, the role of law in the making and breaking of apartheid, and the courtroom as a stage for freedom’s greatest orator. Unbeknownst to many, Mr Mandela cared deeply about his first vocation. By paying tribute to this lesser known - yet very meaningful - aspect of Mr Mandela’s exemplary life, the evening recalls and honours one man’s lifelong struggle for justice.

George Bizos was defence lawyer at the Rivonia Trial.

David Dyzenhaus is a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto and
author of Hard Cases in Wicked Legal Systems about South African jurisprudence.

Joel Joffe was on the defence team at the Rivonia Trial and is author of The State Vs. Nelson Mandela: the trial that changed South Africa.

Jens Meierhenrich is an associate professor of international relations at LSE
and author of The Legacies of Law: long-run consequences of legal development in South Africa, 1652-2000.


George Bizos | talks
Professor Christine Chinkin | talks
Professor David Dyzenhaus | talks
Lord Joel Joffe | talks
Dr Jens Meirhenrich | talks


Date and Time:

12 June 2014 at 6:00 am


2 hours



Old Theatre, London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton St

Show map

Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Additional Information:

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required, only one ticket per person can be requested.

LSE students and staff are able to collect one ticket per person from the NAB SU shop from 10am on Wednesday 4 June. These tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Members of the public, LSE alumni, LSE students and LSE staff can request one ticket via the online ticket request form which will be live on this listing from around 6pm on Wednesday 4 June until at least 12noon on Thursday 5 June. If at 12noon we have received more requests than there are tickets available, the line will be closed, and tickets will be allocated on a random basis to those requests received. If we have received fewer requests than tickets available, the ticket line will stay open until all tickets have been allocated.

Please note, we cannot control exactly when the ticket line will upload, and publishing delays do sometimes occur. As the system now allows requests to be made over a long period of time, if when you visit this page the ticket line is not live, we would advise revisiting the page at a later time.

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