A mensch on the bench: the place of the sacred in the secular jurisprudence of Justice Richard Goldstone

SOURCE: Making the road by walking: the evolution of the South African constitution
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2018
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Cosser
SOURCE EDITOR(S): NBohler, M.Cosser, G.Pienaar
KEYWORDS: CONSTITUTION
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10199

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

Justice Richard Goldstone was one of four Supreme Court of Appeal judges (along with Lourens Ackermann, Tholie Madala and Ismail Mohamed) appointed to the first Bench of the Constitutional Court. The appointment was made by President Mandela, in consultation with the cabinet and the then Chief Justice, Judge Michael Corbett, after the appointment of Arthur Chaskalson, senior counsel and the national director of the Legal Resources Centre, as President of the Constitutional Court had been made.148 Justice Goldstone served as a judge of the Court from his appointment in 1994 to his retirement in 2003 - a period of ten years. Goldstone's service on the Bench of the Constitutional Court forms part of a long and illustrious career as a corporate lawyer, as a Supreme and Appellate Court judge, and as the head of various inquiries, both South African and international, into issues of local and international importance. The focus of this chapter, while it charts key moments in his career, is on his contribution to our understanding of the South African Constitution - an understanding forged both through what others have said about him and what he has said about himself in relation to the law and specifically about the Constitution, through the judgements he has handed down from the Benches of all the courts on which he has served, and through his extra-curial pronouncements, whether in interviews, speeches, reports, articles, or books. The contribution of Richard Goldstone to the Constitution, as this suggests, signifies the coalescence of a number of factors that helped shape him - amongst which, this chapter will show, is the religion into which he was born.