"The time is always ripe to do right."
Born and raised in South Africa, Michael Sandler was acutely aware of social injustice and the deep seeded devastation that widespread human rights violations leave in their wake. He made quiet and persistent contributions to making the world a better place. The founding of the Global Justice Center was possible solely due to his faith, foresight, and financial support - a fact we are reminded of daily as our vision of gender equality and a human rights-based rule of law advances.
The Michael Sandler Fund for Global Justice seeks to honor Michael's lifetime commitment to justice and equal rights by giving to the fund in his name.
To give to the Michael Sandler Fund for Global Justice, please click here.
Michael Sandler was the Founding Board Chair of the Global Justice Center and gave generously to support the pilot projects and initial start-up funding to the Center. In just three years, his investment to promote gender justice and the highest global legal standards for equality has already produced the following returns:
- Development of a global coalition of NGOs and Burmese groups to support an end to the impunity in Burma caused by a global failure to protect the citizens of Burma from ongoing war crimes and genocide.
- International legal training and consultation to Iraqi women leaders and High Tribunal Judges on international law and sexual violence, leading to the Anfal Opinion which used international law to provide justice to Kurdish victims of rape and other sexual violence under Saddam Hussein. This was the first use ever of international criminal law on sexual violence in the region.
- Legal counsel to women leaders on international law and comparative constitutions as part of the constitution drafting processes in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Ethnic Nationalities Council (Union of Burma) .This resulted in the successful inclusion of quotas for women in all branches of government in all three drafts and/or final constitutions. Women now make up the largest caucus in the Iraqi Parliament and the only one that crosses all religious, ethnic and tribal divides.
- Transformation of the national policy debate on the US ratification of CEDAW, the international bill of rights for women, by contributing an innovative legal analysis that demonstrates how U.S. legal protections for women have fallen behind the rest of the world and how if the U.S. were to ratify CEDAW today, 12 years after initial proposed, with reservations that limit the contemporary legal definition of equality, which includes reproductive rights. Our briefing papers and outreach have been picked up by media, women's rights advocates, NGOs and government leaders, including the head legal counsel at the State Department.
- Legal analysis on the shortcomings of the Justice and Peace Law in Colombia and how it is failing to comport with key enforceable international laws, to ensure women's equality access to post-conflict and justice remedies as part of Colombia’s recent efforts to provide justice for ongoing war crimes. The GJC then provided on the ground actors with advocacy techniques to lobby government and judicial authorities responsible for JPL implementation and demand that they ensure participation of women in the justice process and their right to reparations under law.
About Michael Sandler
Michael Sandler was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States at the age of 19. He received his JD and MBA from the University of Iowa and co-founded Focused Investors, an investment management firm based in Los Angeles. Michael was a great humanitarian, philanthropist and strong advocate of human rights. He was the founding President of the Global Justice Center Board and served on the Board of the Iowa Law School Foundation. He was also a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Michael embraced life with passion, and loved nature, traveling and wildlife photography. His generous spirit enriched the lives of countless people throughout the world.