Namibian Justice David Smuts, "Dark Days to a Brighter Future"

Dartmouth Events

Namibian Justice David Smuts, "Dark Days to a Brighter Future"

"From Anti-Apartheid Rebel to Supreme Court Justice: The Journey in Namibia” Co-sponsors: Rockefeller Center, English & Creative Writing, & Government. Guest: Amb. Thomas Daughton

Monday, October 14, 2019
Room 003, Rockefeller Center
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Justice David Smuts of the Namibian Supreme Court will discuss his book: Death Detention, and Disappearance: One Lawyer’s Battle to hold Power to Account in 1980’s Namibia. During the 1980’s the South African security forces committed rampant human rights atrocities in attempt to maintain South Africa’s hold over its neighbor, Namibia, then called Southwest Africa. Justice David Smuts, then a young lawyer, felt compelled to take on the apartheid system from the inside – and the outside. His gripping memoir details several dramatic cases, including ones that involved torture and extended, and illegal, detention. Namibia gained independence in 1990. In 2010, David Smuts was named an associate justice of the country’s Supreme Court.

Ambassador Thomas Daughton, former U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, will make remarks at the event.

Namibian Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable David Smuts was named to the Supreme Court by Namibian President Hage Geingob in 2010. Namibia's foremost human rights lawyer when South Africa was fighting to continue controlling the country, was called to the bar and became founding director of Namibia's Legal Assistance Center. He also helped found Namibia's first independent newspaper, The Namibian. Smuts defended numerous anti-apartheid and anti-occupation prisoners before Namibia became independent in 1990. He became a judge of the High Court before joining the Supreme Court as a justice. He has law degrees from Stellenbosch University and a LLM degree from Harvard. Smuts has contributed significantly to the development of human rights jurisprudence in Namibia and to the stature of that country's apex court.

Thomas F. Daughton was nominated by President Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia on July 31, 2013, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 17, 2014. Prior to his nomination, he was the Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where he negotiated a variety of international agreements for the United States. Prior to his assignment in Washington, Ambassador Daughton served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. He has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Gabon and Algeria. His other overseas assignments include Jamaica, Morocco, Greece and Malaysia. In assignments in Washington earlier in his career, Ambassador Daughton served as staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and as the country desk officer for the Philippines. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Ambassador Daughton is the recipient of numerous awards from the State Department, including the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs, as well as of the American Foreign Service Association’s Harriman and Sinclair awards. Ambassador Daughton grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was an associate with the Sidley & Austin law firm in New York.

For more information, contact:
Joanne Needham

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.