Lausanne, 18 April 2000 - The IOC President announced today in Lausanne the appointment of the Rt. Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen, former High Court justice and governor-general of Australia, to the IOC Ethics Commission. Sir Ninian will fill the seat vacated by IOC Vice President Kevan Gosper in March and becomes the fifth non-IOC member to hold a seat on the eight-person commission chaired by IOC Member and former Vice Chairman of the International Court of Justice Keba Mbaye.
“To have a man of Sir Ninian’s stature, so experienced in governance and justice, serve on the Ethics Commission is a major benefit to the IOC,” said the IOC President.
Judge Mbaye also welcomed Sir Ninian’s selection, saying, “As we administer a Code of Ethics for a multicultural organization, the Ethics Commission must have a strong understanding of world cultures as well as of ethical standards. Sir Ninian brings us both.”
Sir Ninian served as a justice of the High Court of Australia from 1972 until 1982, when he assumed the post of governor-general of Australia, a post he held until 1989. During those years, Sir Ninian was sworn to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 1979 and sat as a member of its Judicial Committee. In 1992, the governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland appointed Sir Ninian as the chairman of Strand Two of the Talks on Northern Ireland. In 1993, he was elected as judge of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and served as such until 1997. From 1998-1999, Sir Ninian chaired the United Nations Expert Group on Cambodia. Currently, the former Governor-General chairs the Australian Citizenship Council and the Australian Blood and Blood Products Review.
Sir Ninian joins four other prominent persons, who are not IOC members, on the IOC Ethics Commission: former Minister of Justice and President of the French Constitutional Court Robert Badinter; former US Senate Majority Leader and White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker; former UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar; and former head of the Department of Justice and Police and three-time Swiss President Kurt Furgler. Three distinguished IOC members – former Vice Chairman of the International Court of Justice Keba Mbaye, silver Olympic medallist and corporate executive Chiharu Igaya, and four-time Olympian and silver Olympic medallist Charmaine Crooks – also serve on the Commission.