Richard J. Goldstone was born on the 26th October 1938 . After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA LLB cum laude in 1962 he practised 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. From July 1994 to October 2003, he was a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He is presently a Global Visiting Professor at NYU Law School and from August 2003 will occupy the Mulligan Chair at Fordham Law School in New York City .
From 1991 to 1994, he served as Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry regarding Public Violence and Intimidation which came to be known as the Goldstone Commission. He is also Chairperson of the Standing Advisory Committee of Company Law. From 15 August 1994 to September 1996 he served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda . During 1998 he was the chairperson of a high level group of international experts which met in Valencia , Spain , and drafted a Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities for the Director General of UNESCO (the Valencia Declaration). From August 1999 until December 2001he was the chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo. In December 2001 he was appointed as the chairperson of the International Task Force on Terrorism that was established by the International Bar Association.
From 1985 to 2000, Justice Goldstone was National President of the National Institute of Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO). He is chairperson of the Bradlow Foundation, a charitable educational trust, and heads the board of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA).
The many awards he has received locally and internationally include the International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association (1994) and Honorary Doctorates of Law from universities in Canada , the Netherlands , South Africa , the United Kingdom , and the United States . He is an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple , London , an Honorary Fellow of St Johns College, Cambridge , an Honorary Member of the Association of the Bar of New York, and a Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs of Harvard University. He is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 1996, he has been a regular member of the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar.
He is married (wife Noleen) and has two married daughters - Glenda and Nicole. He has four grandsons, Jason, Sean, Ben and Jordan.