Justice Richard Joseph Goldstone

Justice Richard Goldstone, 70, visiting professor of law at Frodham University, was called as an expert to testify on issues relating to guilty pleas in international criminal tribunals. Justice Goldstone told the Trial Chamber that three important aspects were to be taken into account when determining the sentence: the nature of the crime, the interest of victims, and the interests of society. For the more general interests of society, he said that "due importance must be given to the importance of an open and sincere admission of guilt, and especially if itís accompanied by a genuine apology to the victims and expressions of remorse". Justice Goldstone submitted that there were three important aspects of an acceptance of guilt and responsibility. First, he pointed out that the public acknowledgment of the gravity of the crimes by an official source is important for the victims. Second, he described that an acceptance of guilt was an essential element in ending fabricated denial. Third, he stated that an acknowledgment of guilt could influence others to come before the Tribunal and similarly admit their responsibility. During his testimony, he underlined the fact that any question of mitigation must be "secondary to the seriousness of the crimes committed and the interest of the victims."

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