Justice Albie Sachs speaks about design of Constitutional Court and values that informed it

BY Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

Retired Constitutional Court Judge Justice Albie Sachs says that he is always fond of telling anyone who cares to listen that the Constitution of South Africa was written by jazz musicians, with the judges only writing the law’

He took an eager audience on Thursday at the highest Court on the land the values that informed the writing of the Constitution, as well as the thinking behind the architectural design of this inspiring Building that houses the Constitutional Court.

“We wanted a building that was not intimidating, but one that embodies the values of a democratic South Africa. So when the call was out, the panel that set to decide on whom to appoint to design the building was also inclusive. I represented the judges on that panel. Even though the team of architects who were eventually appointed to design the building were mainly white for historical reasons within the profession of architecture at the time, the people who actually did most of the drawings, the technical drawing were black people. We were not interested in European or American architectural designs. We wanted something that would embody the spirit of the new country,” he said.

He also pointed out that the name of the Court is also in all official languages in the name of inclusivity.

Justice Sachs was also responsible for most of the art collection of the Constitutional Court.

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