Joel Joffe

Joel Joffe, who died in London on Sunday at the age of 85, was part of the defense team for Mandela and other leaders of the movement against white minority rule who were tried for sabotage in the Rivonia trial.

A HUMAN rights lawyer from North Wiltshire who represented Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial in the 1960s has died.

Lord Joel Joffe was originally from South Africa but he came to the UK, settling in Liddington in north Wiltshire where he was and was made a life peer in 2000, becoming Baron Joffe of Liddington.

The Rivonia trial, held between 1963-64, was a key moment in the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa and led to the 27 year imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and nine others.

Lord Joffe acted as attorney for the defence in the trial after he was asked by a number of people, including Winnie Mandela.

In 2003 he proposed the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill bill in the House of Commons in one of the first moves to bring in euthanasia laws to the UK.

Wiltshire Law Centre (@WiltsLaw), a company based in Swindon that offers free legal representation, tweeted their tribute, saying: “We are greatly saddened to hear of Lord Joel Joffe’s passing. A very kind man who was a supporter of the work we do.”

The 85-year-old retired from the House of Lords in 2015 and last year, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

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