Vojislav Kostunica was born in 1944 in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, Belgrade University, in 1966, received his MA in 1970 and his PhD in 1974. In 1970, he was appointed assistant professor at the Faculty of Law but had to leave the university four years later, amid a political witch-hunt. In 1989, he declined to return to the university as a professor.
Between 1974 and 1981, he worked at Belgrade's Institute of Social Sciences. From 1981, he was a research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory, where he also held the position of director. He published works in constitutional law, political theory and philosophy.
In 1989, he helped found the Democratic Party and he set up the Democratic Party of Serbia in 1992, in which he has since been president. He was an opposition deputy in the Serbian parliament between 1990 and 1997. As the candidate of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, in the 2000 presidential election, he defeated Slobodan Milosevic and held office as Yugoslav President until February 2003.
Vojislav Kostunica has been a member of the editorial staff, or editor-in-chief, in several renowned legal and philosophical magazines. In the eighties, he was prominent in human rights protection.
He is married to Zorica Radovic, also a lawyer.