Post Date: June 13, 2005

On Thursday, June 16, Harvard Law School will host a celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the South African Freedom Charter. The Charter, adopted in 1955 by the African National Congress and its allies, set out principles regarding equality and respect for human rights for South Africa.

The one-day symposium, “Human Rights and the South African Freedom Charter: Law, Justice, and Political Movements,” will consider the influence of the charter as well as current issues in human rights in South Africa and ongoing efforts to end racialism, both in South Africa and in the U.S.

“Fifty years ago, black South Africans adopted the Freedom Charter, a blue print for a nonracial society,” said Professor Charles Ogletree, director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. “Today, 50 years later, apartheid has been replaced by democracy in South Africa, and all South Africans can vote, own property, and live in a society marked by justice and equality. Just as we celebrated the bicentennial of our US Constitution some time ago, I’m honored that Harvard Law School is hosting a conference celebrating this monumental anniversary of a pivotal moment in South African history.”

Featured speakers include Chief Justice Pius Langa (Constitutional Court of South Africa), Justice Zakeria Yacoob (Constitutional Court of South Africa), Chief Justice Margaret Marshall (Supreme Judicial Court of Mass.), Jeannette Ndhlovu (Consul-General of South Africa in Los Angeles), and Bill Fletcher (TransAfrica).


9:00 – 9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast 9:30 – 4:45 Symposium 5:00 – 6:00 Reception

The symposium will take place in Austin Hall and is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by HLS’s Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Northeastern University School of Law Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, and South Africa Partners. For registration and additional information, please contact Khosi Xaba of South Africa Partners at 617-443-1072 or