Institute for Corean-American Studies

Lord Goldsmith
Biographic Sketch

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 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 at the age of 35, a Crown Court Recorder in 1989, Chairman of the Law Society by age 40, and a Deputy High Court Judge in 1994. He was created a Life Peer in 1999.

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.

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