Home Law School News Former justice on South African Court to headline law series

Former justice on South African Court to headline law series

photo of Richard Goldstone

Justice Richard J. Goldstone

Former South African Constitutional Court Justice Richard J. Goldstone will headline Drake University’s spring 2008 Constitutional Law Distinguished Speaker series Wednesday, March. 26.

Goldstone will present “The South African Constitution: The Recognition of Social and Economic Rights” at 4 p.m. in room 213 of Cartwright Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“Justice Goldstone is one of the most famous jurists in the world,” said Mark Kende, the James Madison chair in constitutional law, professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center. “He played a crucial role in the South Africa transition from Apartheid to freedom.”

Goldstone is visiting professor of law and the William Hughes Mulligan professor of international law at Fordham University School of Law in New York City. Prior to his role at Fordham, Goldstone was the Jeremiah Smith Jr. visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School.

He served as a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from July 1994 to October 2003. Goldstone also served as:

  • Chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
  • Chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo that was established by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson;
  • Member of the international group of advisers of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Chairperson of the South African Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation (a kind of predecessor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission)

He serves as:

  • Co-chairperson of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association and a member of the committee, chaired by Paul A. Volcker, appointed by the secretary general of the United Nations to investigate allegations regarding the Iraq oil for food program
  • An honorary bencher of the Inner Temple, London, an honorary fellow of St. Johns College, Cambridge, and an honorary member of the Association of the Bar of New York
  • Board member of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Center for Economic and Social Rights

In addition, he is the author of “For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator,” (2001) Yale University Press. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor authored the forward to this book.

Recently, Goldstone was on the United Nations Committee that selected Drake Law Alumnus Stephen Rapp to be the prosecutor for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, for which he is currently prosecuting Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, for crimes against humanity.

Drake Constitutional Law Center
The Constitutional Law Center invites the world’s leading constitutional scholars to Drake as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series to engage students and faculty in discussions about current issues.

The center will also host the 2008 Constitutional Law Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 5. The symposium is sponsored by Belin law firm in Des Moines.

The event, which is open to the public, is titled “The Forgotten Constitutional Amendments,” will feature prominent constitutional scholars. Cost for the symposium is $10.