Bob Goldman

Professor Goldman Elected President of the International Commission of Jurists   

Aug. 29, 2018

American University Washington College of Law congratulates Professor Robert K. Goldman on his election as president of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). The ICJ is one of the oldest and most respected NGOs in the world. Since 1952, it has worked to advance and uphold the rule of law and human rights around the world. The organization consists of 60 judges and lawyers from all parts of the world and legal systems. Goldman was elected as a commissioner in 2008 and served as vice president beginning in 2014. He further served as the ICJ’s acting president beginning in 2017 until July 2018 when he was elected president.

“This is an exceptional and well-deserved honor for Professor Robert (“Bob”) Goldman,” said Dean Camille Nelson. “Bob is a key member of our world-renowned international law faculty, and positions such as this one continue to enhance and elevate the global reach of Washington College of Law.”

 “I am truly honored to lead this distinguished organization, particularly at such a challenging time when rights protection and the rule of law are under attack at home and abroad,” Goldman said.  “I am also very grateful for the tremendous support that WCL has given me over the years to pursue my human rights-related activities.”

Goldman joins some of the world’s most well-renowned human rights lawyers who were the organization’s immediate past presidents: Nigel Rodley, former chair of the UN Human Rights Committee; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Arthur Chaskalson, former Chief Justice of South Africa.

At American University Washington College of Law, Goldman serves as the Louis C. James Scholar, faculty director of the War Crimes Research Office, and co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. A member of the AUWCL faculty since 1971, Goldman was the law school’s acting dean from 1979-1980.

He has held a number of high-ranking positions in the human rights community, including:

  • Member and president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (1996-2003)
  • UN Independent Expert on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism ( 2004-2005)
  • Helped develop the normative framework for internally displaced persons and was a principal author of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (1994-1996)
  • President of the Commission of International Jurists on the Administration of Justice on Peru, jointly tasked by the U.S. and Peruvian governments to evaluate Peru’s antiterrorist laws (1993-1994)

Goldman has also served on the boards of numerous NGOs, including the Policy Committee of Human Rights Watch and the Advisory boards of Americas Watch, Helsinki Watch and Middle East Watch, and the Washington Office on Latin American and the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights).


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