Post Date: February 28, 2005

While acknowledging a number of complexities of international justice, Goldstone described one area in which international courts in particular have made progress toward promoting human rights–the prosecution of rape, which Goldstone called “one of the most important achievements of the UN tribunals.”

“Before the UN set up the Yugoslav tribunals… gender-related crimes had been almost entirely ignored,” Goldstone said. In part because of advocacy by civil society groups and in part because of judicial inquiries, international courts have been able to prosecute rape as a crime of war. “If one wants justification for international courts, then this is a very important area,” he said.

Before joining the ICTY, Goldstone served as a former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and helped investigate wrongdoings under the apartheid government. He will be in residence at Harvard this spring to teach Comparative Constitutional Law and a seminar on international law.

This webcast of Goldstone’s presentation is available for streaming (RealOne Player required). The talk was part of the ongoing series, An Exploration of International Justice.