Goldstone, Richard J. 1938-

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GOLDSTONE, Richard J. 1938-

PERSONAL: Born October 26, 1938, in Boksburg, South Africa; married Noleen Behrman, 1962; children: Glenda, Nicole. Education: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, B.A., LL.B. (cum laude), 1962.

ADDRESSES: Office—Constitutional Court, Private Bag X32, Braamfontein 2017, South Africa.

CAREER: Jurist. Johannesburg Bar, South Africa, advocate, 1962-76; senior counsel, 1976-80; Transvaal Supreme Court, judge, 1980-89, Appellate Division, judge, 1989-94; Constitutional Court of South Africa, justice, 1994—. Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation, chair, 1991-94; United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, chief prosecutor, 1994-96. National Institute of Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders, president, 1985-2000. Chair, Standing Advisory Committee of Company Law, Valencia Declaration, 1998, International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo, 1999-2001, International Task Force on Terrorism, 2001—, Bradlow Foundation, and Human Rights Institute of South Africa; chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand; president, World ORT.

MEMBER: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

AWARDS, HONORS: International Human Rights Award, American Bar Association, 1994; honorary doctorates of law from universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Natal, Notre Dame, Glasgow, and Calgary, and from Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Maryland University College, Wilfred Laurier University, Catholic University of Brabant, and Emory University; honorary benchee of Inner Temple, London; honorary fellow, St. Johns College, Cambridge; honorary member, Association of the Bar of New York. Fellow, Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs of Harvard University.


For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2000.

SIDELIGHTS: South African judge Richard J. Goldstone has been involved in the promotion of human rights throughout his career. Goldstone grew up in a very conservative suburb of Johannesburg; by law, his community was for whites only, but his liberal parents objected to the racist policies of the South African government. Goldstone was also deeply influenced by his maternal grandfather, who encouraged his interest in law. He told Sudarsan Raghavan in the Los Angeles Times, "I hadn't any doubts since the age of four about entering the legal profession. I spent a lot of my childhood with [my grandfather]."

As a college student at the University of Witwatersrand, Goldstone exposed a member of the South African secret police, who had been sent to spy on a student group agitating against the official policy of apartheid, the forced separation of racial groups. Goldstone secretly taped a conversation with the spy. The tape was later used as evidence to dismiss the national police commissioner.

After passing the Johannesburg Bar, Goldstone ran a commercial law firm before being appointed a judge in 1980. As a justice, he became known for his sympathy toward human-rights lawyers, political prisoners, and anti-apartheid activists, and he refused to be swayed by government policies he believed were wrong.

His career as an investigator and judge of cases involving political violence began in 1981, when he was chosen to head a commission that investigated crimes that occurred after the fall of apartheid in 1991 and before South Africa's first democratic elections in 1995.

Goldstone has been a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa since 1994, and has also chaired the Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation in that country. In addition, he was chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals, which considered war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He was chair of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo, and since 2001 has been chair of the International Task Force on Terrorism.

In For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator Goldstone describes his involvement in the transition of South Africa from an apartheid state to a democracy, and tells why he was chosen to head a commission that investigated crimes during the transition. He also discusses his work as chief prosecutor for United Nations Tribunals, considering both the legal issues of the tribunals and his personal feelings and experiences. He advocates for the establishment of a permanent international criminal justice system that would be "sufficiently empowered to cause would-be war criminals to reconsider their ambitions, knowing that they might otherwise be hunted for the rest of their days and eventually be brought to justice." In the New York Times, Chuck Sudette wrote that the book is an important reminder "that if our world is to become more globalized and humane, governments, including our own, must keep step by prosecuting war criminals."



Ethics and International Affairs, April, 2001, Dorothy V. Jones, review of For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator, p. 212.

Global Governance, January-March, 2002, James P. Sewell, review of For Humanity, p. 119.

Los Angeles Times, March 14, 1995, Sudarsan Raghavan, profile of Goldstone, p. H5.

New Republic, January 29, 2001, Tzvetan Todorov, review of For Humanity, p. 29.

New York Times, July 9, 1994, Paul Lewis, "South African Judge Is to Prosecute War Criminals," p. 2.

Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2000, review of For Humanity, p. 86.

Times Literary Supplement, November 9, 2001, Anthony Dworkin, review of For Humanity, p. 11.*