Former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
“Preventing Deadly Conflict”
“I don’t believe that you can have any lasting peace without
justice in the aftermath of serious human rights violations.”
Richard J. Goldstone was born on October 26,1938. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa with a B.A., L.L.B. cum laude in 1962, he practiced as an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. In 1976, he was appointed senior counsel, and in 1980 was made judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court. In 1989, he was appointed judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. From July 1994 to October 2003 he was a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
From 1991 to 1994, he served as chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry regarding Public Violence and Intimidation, which came to be known as the Goldstone Commission. He was the chairperson of the Standing Advisory Committee of Company Law from 1984 to 2004. From August 1994 to September 1996, Justice Goldstone served as the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. During 1998, he was the chairperson of a high-level group of international experts, which met in Valencia, Spain, and drafted a Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities for the Director General of UNESCO (the Valencia Declaration). From August 1999 until December 2001, he was the chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo. In December 2001, he was appointed as the co-chairperson of the International Task Force on Terrorism, which was established by the International Bar Association. He is a director of the American Arbitration Association.
From 1985 to 2000, Justice Goldstone was national president of the National Institute of Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders. He is chairperson of the Bradlow Foundation, a charitable educational trust, and from 1994 to 2003 was the chairperson of the board of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA). He remains a trustee of HURISA.
Justice Goldstone serves as chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, is a governor of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and president of World ORT (an international technical and technology training organization). He was a member of the International Panel established in August 1997 by the Government of Argentina to monitor the Argentinian Inquiry to elucidate Nazi activities in the Argentine Republic since 1938.
The many awards he has received locally and internationally include the International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association (1994) and honorary doctorates of Law from the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand and Natal; Hebrew University, Jerusalem; University of Notre Dame; Maryland University College; Wilfrid Laurier in Ontario; the University of Glasgow; the Catholic University of Brabant in Tilburg, the Netherlands; the University of Calgary; Emory University; and Princeton University. He is an honorary bencher of the Inner Temple, London; an honorary fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge; an honorary member of the Association of the Bar of New York; and a fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs of Harvard University. Justice Goldstone is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar in 1996 and 1998, and co-chaired sessions on International Law in 2001 and 2003. From October to December 2001, he was a visiting professor at the School of Law of New York University.
He is married to Noleen and has two married daughters, Glenda and Nicole. He has four grandsons, Jason, Sean, Ben and Jordan.
Updated on 10/15/2003