MacArthur Award recognises IBAHRI Co-Chair

24 October 2008

The IBA welcomes the news that Justice Richard J. Goldstone, International Bar Association Human Rights Institute Co-Chair, is to be honoured with the MacArthur Award for International Justice in May 2009.

The Award is an acknowledgement of Justice Goldstone’s great achievements in the promotion and implementation of international justice. In his role as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals of Rwanda and former Yugoslavia from 1994 to 1996, he helped to shape the direction of the courts - the first of their kind since the Nuremberg Trials.

Justice Goldstone filed charges of genocide and crimes against humanity against Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic in 1995, a reflection of his determination to bring top political and military perpetrators to justice. He also served as Co-Chair of the Independent Commission on Kosovo, a body which examined key developments before, during and after the crises in Kosovo, including systematic violations of human rights in the region.

As Chair of the Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation in South Africa, Justice Goldstone worked to defuse the political violence towards the end of the apartheid era. For nine years following this, he served as a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Through these roles, he made a vital contribution to the transition to democracy in his native country.

“The IBA is proud to have worked with Justice Goldstone for the last four years,” said Fernando Pombo, IBA president. “Under his leadership, the Human Rights Institute has expanded to meet the needs of more judges, lawyers and defenders of human rights than ever before. His dedication to bringing perpetrators to justice is consistently evident in his commitment to this Association.”

Justice Goldstone has served as the IBA Human Rights Institute Co-Chair since 2004, and his expertise in international justice has been integral to the development of the Institute. His support lead to the IBA’s ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme in 2005, which monitors cases before the ICC and works to broaden the understanding of the ICC within international and national contexts. Thanks to his support, the Human Rights Institute now monitors International Criminal Tribunals and domestic human rights cases, provides support to new and established bar associations, sends out rapid response fact-finding delegations and holds training workshops across the globe.

Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the IBA, said: “the IBA welcomes this special recognition of Justice Goldstone and his life-time commitment to human rights and international justice. Justice Goldstone is a man of immense courage and integrity who is respected and admired world-wide. There is no one more deserving of this award.”

The first MacArthur Award, which aims to raise awareness of human rights and international justice issues, was granted to former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2008. This is a part of the MacArthur Foundation’s ongoing support of efforts towards an integrated system of international justice, which includes the International Criminal Court, regional human rights courts and commissions, special tribunals empanelled by the UN, and domestic justice systems.

Ends

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