Center Hosts Public Launch, Celebration of 'The Trials of Richard Goldstone'

screen capture of daniel terris interviewing richard goldstoneat book launch event


March 18, 2019

The Ethics Center today hosted a public launch and celebration of "The Trials of Richard Goldstone" (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Daniel Terris' newly released book that tells the story of this extraordinary individual and the price he paid for his convictions.

The event featured a reading and a discussion with Richard Goldstone, Ethics Center International Advisory Board member and former chair; and Terris, director emeritus of the Ethics Center. Current Board chair John Shattuck moderated the conversation.

The event was co-sponsored by African and African American Studies, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, International and Global Studies, Legal Studies, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and the Social Justice and Social Policy Program.

Working as a judge in apartheid South Africa, Goldstone helped to undermine that unjust system and later, at Nelson Mandela’s request, led a commission that investigated cases of racial violence and intimidation. Goldstone subsequently was nominated by President Nelson Mandela to serve as a justice on the newly established Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Later, as chief United Nations prosecutor for war crimes committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, Goldstone participated in the first tribunals to try political and military leaders on charges of genocide. Terris considers the international renown Goldstone received, and explores how he became a controversial figure in the wake of the Jewish jurist’s powerful but flawed investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

In June 2009, Goldstone was a global hero, honored by the MacArthur Foundation with its prize in international justice. Four months later, he was called a “quisling” and compared to some of the worst traitors in human history. Why? Because this champion of human rights and international law chose to apply his commitments to fairness and truth to his own community.

Goldstone’s dramatic life story reveals that even in a world rife with prejudice, nationalism and contempt for human rights, one courageous man can advance the cause of justice.