The Rt Hon The Lord Goldsmith QC
The Rt Hon The Lord Goldsmith QC
Lord Goldsmith QC was appointed on 11 June 2001 as Her Majesty’s Attorney General.
The Attorney General, assisted by the Solicitor General, is the chief legal adviser to the Government. The Attorney General has overall responsibility for the Treasury Solicitors’ Department, superintends the Director of Public Prosecution as head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland. The Law Officers answer for these Departments in Parliament. The Attorney General has public interest functions in which his responsibility is as guardian of the public interest.
Peter Goldsmith was born and brought up in Liverpool. He went to Quarry Bank High School/Comprehensive there before reading law at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge taking a double first class honours degree. After a Master’s Degree at University College London he was called to the Bar, Gray’s Inn in 1972. He then practised from Fountain Court Chambers in London. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. He has judicial experience, sitting as a Crown Court Recorder since 1987 and a Deputy High Court Judge since 1994. He was created a Life Peer in 1999, and a Privy Counsellor in 2002.
In 1995 he was Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales. He has also held a number of posts in international legal organisations including Council Member of the International Bar Association and the Union Internationale des Avocats. From 1998 until his appointment as Attorney General he was co-Chairman of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute. Between 1997 and 2000 he was Chairman of the Financial Reporting Review Panel, an independent public body responsible for enforcing financial reporting standards. In 1997 he was elected to membership of the American Law Institute and made a member of the Paris Bar.
In 1996 he founded the Bar Pro Bono Unit of which he was Chairman until 2000 and remains President.
He was the Prime Minister’s Personal Representative to the Convention for the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Lord Goldsmith is married with four children and lives in London.
Source: The Attorney General's Office
Anti-war protest threat at JMU lecture by law chief
Feb 23 2007
by Deborah James, Liverpool Daily Post
A LIVERPOOL university last night refused to cancel a lecture by the country’s most senior lawyer after anti-war protesters demanded it be called off.
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, QC, is due to give the John Moores University Roscoe Lecture at St George’s Hall next Wednesday.
Tickets for his talk entitled: How The Law Holds Together a Civil Society, have been a sell-out in the week after Liverpool-born Lord Goldsmith admitted having an extra-marital affair.
But the Merseyside branch of the Stop the War Coalition is planning to sabotage the event by encouraging the capacity audience of around 1,000 to boo.
The campaign group’s leader, Mark Holt, last night accused Lord Goldsmith of having “blood on his hands” because he did not declare going to war in Iraq as illegal.
He said his members were preparing to roll out a white carpet spattered with fake blood on St George’s Plateau as Lord Goldsmith arrives.
Last year, Stop the War organised a protest by thousands when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Liverpool.
Yesterday, Mr Holt wrote to JMU urging them to cancel the lecture.
He wrote: “It was Lord Goldsmith’s advice to Tony Blair and the Cabinet in 2003 that an attack on Iraq was legal that allowed Blair to send the troops into action.
“The result of that war has seen the deaths of over 655,000 Iraqi civilians and a country and culture in ruins.
“Lord Goldsmith must be the only legal mind in the world to say the war was legal.
“The then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, resigned, saying he thought the war was illegal. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, said the war was illegal.
“We say Lord Goldsmith has blood on his hands and is indirectly responsible for the carnage in Iraq and is someone unsuitable to be invited to address a Roscoe Lecture. Are you sure you want someone who is a possible war criminal to address your lecture?”
But JMU last night said it was in the spirit of public debate and democracy to hold the lecture.
A spokeswoman said: “For over a decade, the Roscoe Lecture Series has enabled audiences to hear speakers from all walks of life and all political opinions. That’s what makes these lectures so important. LJMU is a university founded on the values of freedom of speech and encouraging intellectual debate.
“As an academic institution, it’s our duty to enable people to air lawfully-held views and engage in open and positive discussions.”
Former Roscoe Lecture speakers include His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Lech Walesa, former President of Poland; Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC; astronomer Sir Patrick Moore; and Gerard Houllier, former manager of Liverpool FC.
Attorney General delivers Roscoe Lecture
01 March 2007
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, 'guardian of the public interest', delivered the 63rd Roscoe Lecture in St George's Hall on 28 February.
The Attorney General's appearance in his home town of Liverpool sparked small protests both outside and inside the Hall by the Stop the War Coalition, who dispute his 2003 ruling that the invasion of Iraq was legal.
Professor David Alton, Chair of LJMU's Foundation for Citizenship, said: "We are a university founded on the values of freedom of speech and encouraging intellectual debate. As an academic institution, it's our duty to enable people to air lawfully held views and engage in open and positive discussions. It is only through such democratic debate that people can reach their own conclusions on where the truth lies."
The auditorium was packed with around 900 people, who were unswayed by the protestors' demands to disrupt the lecture.
Instead they listened intently as Lord Goldsmith said that he disliked the term 'war on terror' instead preferring to view it as a 'war of values'. In order to win this war against extremism, he said, we had to show ourselves to be more fair and more just that the alternative.
He went on to describe the three basic principles that needed to be upheld in a civil society. First, we must respect the rule of law, and fulfil both our domestic and international legal oblations. Second, we must show a commitment to upholding the fundamental values underpinning our democracy, such as right of habeas corpus and freedom of speech, which are the very liberties that extremists are seeking to destroy. Finally, the law must be impartial and achieve a balance between the rights of individual and that of the state. As a result, he said certain rights, such as the right to a fair trial or the prohibition of torture, were 'non-negotiable'.
Lord Goldsmith QC was appointed on 11 June 2001 as Her Majesty's Attorney General. The Attorney General, assisted by the Solicitor General, is the chief legal adviser to the Government.
Caption: Lord Goldsmith is pictured with Professor E Rex Makin and his wife, Shirley. LJMU's Foundation for Citizenship was established in June 1997 thanks to Professor E Rex Makin and the generous endowment of the May Makin Chair in Citizenship, currently held by Professor the Lord David Alton. The Roscoe Lecture Series is integral to the work of the Foundation, which strives to promote the development of ‘ethical’ students and an ‘ethos’ of citizenship in the wider community.
Click here to download a podcast of the lecture
Source: LJMU News Update
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