JUSTICE RICHARD J. GOLDSTONE
Globalised Terrorism and the Sovereignty of Nations.
In his lecture Richard Goldstone argued that the strict theory of sovereignty has, with justification, been softened in the area of the protection of human rights, but has remained largely intact in other respects.
He further argued that since the 2001 terrorist attacks the US has been oscillating between isolationism and recognition of the need for an international coalition to combat terrorism, and said that the US has taken a contradictory and ambivalent approach to human rights and international law.
Richard Goldstone pointed out that according to international law, use of military force is permissible only with a resolution of the UN Security Council, or in self-defence.
Justice Goldstone said the fact "that the Security Council does not act at the behest of the US is no justification for the most powerful nation in the world taking the law into its own hands and using military force in an unlawful manner", and emphasised that "the international rule of law should apply to powerful and weak nations alike".
Justice David Harper, alumnus of the Melbourne Law School and Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, speaking as commentator immediately after Richard Goldstone, highlighted that "terrorism has added another and particularly difficult dimension to sovereignty" and lamented that "terrorism may translate for some into fervent and intellectually shallow nationalism".
Justice Richard J. Goldstone graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA LLB cum laude, and 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. Since July 1994, Justice Goldstone has been a member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
From 1991 - 1994, Justice Goldstone served as Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry regarding Public Violence and Intimidation, which came to be known as the "Goldstone Commission," the precursor to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
From 1994 to 1996, Justice Goldstone served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He was chairperson of a group of international experts that met in Valencia, Spain and drafted a Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities for the Director General of UNESCO (the Valencia Declaration). Since August 1999, he has been the chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo.
Justice Goldstone serves in many other national and international capacities, is the recipient of many awards including the ABA International Human Rights Award (1994), and holds honorary doctorates in law from numerous law schools in South Africa and abroad. He is an honorary member of the Bar of the City of New York and a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Justice Goldstone is the author of For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator" (Yale University Press 2000).
by Institute for Comparative and International Law