In 1997, Maarten van Traa, member of the Dutch House of Representatives (1986-1997), introduced Richard Goldstone i, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals (1994-1996) at the fourth edition of the Europe Lecture. They spoke about human rights, peace and justice in Europe.
Member of the Dutch House of Representatives from 1986 to 1997. A prominent member of the Dutch socialist party. His prestige is reflected in the position he held as spokesperson for foreign affairs as well as immigration policies. Praised for the way Van Traa chaired a parliamentary inquiry into methods used in police investigations.
Maarten van Traa has a background in journalism. He was employed by several Dutch broadcasting organisation as well as the prestigious French newspaper Le Monde. Before entering active political life Van Traa was a well known figure in the movement for disarmament.
"I have a great admiration for Mr Richard J. Goldstone, the tonight’s keynote speaker. Richard Goldstone – I do not know him personally, interviews with him do not convey a lot of human interest, rightly so, I think – must have been a successful law student. Already a full-fledged lawyer at 25, joining at that age the Johannesburg Bar in 1963, he was appointed as a Judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court in 1980. He pursued the career of the white elite of his country.
So far, many of his colleagues must have followed the same path. But he also made a difference. As a Judge, he used the rare occasion, not only to interpret the law of the land but also to be instrumental in changing it by getting closer to the truth about police involvement in the violation of human rights."