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Justice Goldstone to receive international award for justice

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Justice Richard Goldstone has been named the 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Award for International Justice, announced the MacArthur Foundation yesterday. 

SA Good News
Justice Richard Goldstone
The South African judge and prosecutor who turns 70 next week is being honoured by the US-based foundation for his work as Chief Prosecutor during the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

The Award, now in its second year, is given to individuals and organisations that have been transformative forces in the fields of human rights and international justice, making significant contributions to advancing both fields.

In selecting Goldstone for the Award, the Foundation's Board of Directors cited his role in the development of the modern era of international justice. 

"As Chief Prosecutor, Goldstone set a high moral and legal standard for tribunals.  He insisted on the independence of counsel and judges, transparency in the establishment of facts in each case, due process for the accused, and the importance of first-hand testimony from witnesses and surviving victims.  His clarity of vision and meticulous approach to justice brought both a degree of resolution to victims and a new model for the prosecution of crimes against humanity," said the Foundation in a statement. 

Foundation President Jonathan Fanton added: "He gave the tribunals moral authority and legal credibility.  It is, in large part, a testament to the quality of his work that the international community accepted the Rome Statute and established the International Criminal Court with confidence.  His unquestioned competence and integrity won the faith of the world." 

Goldstone said it was an honour to receive the award and praised the MacArthur Foundation for its efforts in advancing human rights and international justice.

"Since the early 1990s, we have witnessed the emergence of a system of international justice that is growing stronger with each new case tried in a regional court or UN tribunal and with each investigation opened by the International Criminal Court," said Goldstone.

"It has given me tremendous pride and satisfaction to have played a role in ensuring that the perpetrators of mass atrocities have more reason today than ever to fear being brought to justice," he added. 

The Award provides Goldstone with US$100,000 for his own work and invites him to suggest an additional US$500,000 in support for non-profit organisations working on international justice issues. 

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was the first recipient of the Award in 2008 in recognition of his contribution to building the International Criminal Court and encouraging the development of the concept of the Responsibility to Protect. 

Prior to his appointment as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals in 1994, Goldstone chaired South Africa's Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation, commonly called "the Goldstone Commission".

The Commission played a critical role in defusing the political violence that erupted when apartheid in began unravelling in the late 1980s as the country moved toward its first democratic elections.
Following the Commission, Goldstone assisted in the development of the country's constitution and served as a constitutional court judge for nine years.

The MacArthur Award for International Justice will be conferred upon Goldstone in The Hague on May 21, 2009. 


More information is available at www.macfound.org. 


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