World Peace Through Law Award

The World Peace Through Law Award is bestowed upon an individual who, by his or her work and writings, has considerably advanced the rule of law and thereby contributed to world peace. Established in 2006, the Award recognizes individuals who have achieved great distinction in the field of international law and international relations. The Harris Institute honors and recognizes all recipients of the World Peace Through Law Award.

2018 - Her Excellency Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert

The 2018 laureate of the World Peace Through Law award, Her Excellency Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert, is a champion of the rule of law recognized for her significant contribution to the pursuit of justice through international legal mechanisms. She has served as a judge at the International Criminal Court since January 2009 and will complete her term this year. She previously served as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (2003-2009) and ad hoc judge at the International Court of Justice (2000-2002). She is appointed to serve on the Kosovo Specialist Chamber starting in 2019. In 2013, King Albert II of Belgium ennobled her as a Baroness for her services as a judge. 

A specialist in international criminal law, criminal procedure, and comparative criminal law, Judge Van den Wyngaert has adjudicated some of the world’s most difficult cases. She has served as a stout advocate of the International Criminal Court, educating many on the important work of the Court, particularly in regards to the principle of complementarity and victim participation. She has also made a considerable contribution to the development of international criminal law as an academic, publishing many books and articles prior to her judicial career. She has been serving as a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative’s Steering Committee since 2007 and is an invaluable contributor advocating for peace through the rule of law. Throughout her decades long career, she continues to make key contributions to, in her own words, “a change that’s taken place: from human rights as a shield, to international criminal law as a sword.”

Public Lecture -  World Peace through International Criminal Justice; the Role of International Courts and Tribunal - October 8, 2018  

2015 - Former Nuremberg Prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz

The 2015 laureate of the World Peace Through Law award, Benjamin B. Ferencz, has dedicated his life to using the power of international law to eradicate war and bring about a more humane and just legal order. Upon graduating from Harvard Law School in 1943, Ferencz joined the United States Army where he was assigned to the newly created War Crimes Division. As a war crimes investigator during the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, he gathered evidence of Nazi atrocities that was later used in the Nuremberg Trials. As the Chief Prosecutor of the Einsatzgruppen case at the age of 27, Ferencz secured the conviction of 22 of the world’s most ruthless criminals. 

In the 70 years since Nuremberg, Ferencz has led efforts to return property to Holocaust survivors and played an instrumental role in reparations negotiations between Israel and West Germany. He has long been an advocate for the establishment of an international rule of law and personally contributed to the establishment of the International Criminal Court. A prolific author and public intellectual, he has published more than 100 books and articles including An International Criminal Court: A Step Toward World Peace (1980) and Enforcing International Law: A Way to World Peace (1983). Indeed, his first book, Defining International Aggression-The Search for World Peace (1975), is continuously referred to as a seminal work on the need for the establishment of institutions to promote world peace.



2013 - His Excellency Sir Christopher Greenwood

World Peace through Law: the Role of the International Court of Justice 

The 2013 laureate of the World Peace Through Law award, His Excellency Sir Christopher Greenwood QC has been serving as the British judge on the International Court of Justice in The Hague since February of 2009.  Elected in the first round of voting at the United Nations in New York, Sir Christopher’s distinguished career in international law began at Magdalene College, in the University of Cambridge, where he obtained degrees in Law and International Law with first class honours and was elected a Fellow of Magdalene College shortly before his twenty-third birthday. He taught at Cambridge for more than twenty years before being appointed to a Chair of International Law at the London School of Economics in 1996. 

Sir Christopher Greenwood was appointed as a Knight Bachelor in 2009 for his outstanding services and contribution to public international law. In 2002, he was appointed Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG). His extraordinary work as a leader in the field of international law and a champion for international peace and justice through law has earned him this year’s World Peace Through Law award. As a scholar of international law and as counsel before various international courts and tribunals, Sir Christopher’s career has been a model of distinction. Co-sponsored by Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series (PILPSS)

2011 - Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

The 2011 laureate, Fatou Bensouda, has dedicated her career to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law. As the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Bensouda has brought commitment and professionalism to the task of ending impunity for the perpetrators of atrocity crimes and bringing justice to millions of victims worldwide. Before joining the International Criminal Court, Bensouda served as Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Prior to that, she had a long and distinguished career in her native Gambia in both private and public law, serving as, inter alia, the General Manager of a leading commercial bank, Senior State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of The Gambia. Bensouda represented the government of The Gambia in negotiations leading to the establishment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the International Criminal Court. Bensouda received a bachelor-in-law degree from OAU University in Nigeria and a barrister-in-law degree from Nigeria Law School. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in International Maritime Law and the Law of the Sea, which makes her the first international maritime law expert of The Gambia. 

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2010 - Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni

Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni was named recipient of the award in 2010. Professor Bassiouni was honored for many reasons, including his extraordinary work as a leader in the field of international justice and a champion of human rights for all human beings everywhere. He has been a leading figure in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and an important voice in calling for the development of an international instrument to combat crimes against humanity. His 1994 article “Crimes Against Humanity: The Need for a Specialized Convention” was inspirational and sowed the seeds for the current success of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. Professor Bassiouni has been a great friend and supporter of both the Harris Institute and Whitney R. Harris for many years, as well as an inspiration to all of the staff at the Harris Institute. He has been tireless in his work as a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative’s Steering Committee, and we are especially grateful for his extraordinary leadership in the drafting of the Proposed International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity.

2008 - The Honorable Richard Goldstone


The 2008 laureate, Justice Richard Goldstone, is a classic example of the scholar-practitioner. He has been an active participant, contributor, and leader in many of the seminal international legal events of the last 20 years, most famously through his work as a chairperson of South Africa’s Standing Commission on Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation Justice – which came to be known as the “Goldstone Commission” – and as the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. He served for nine years as a Justice of the South African Constitutional Court, and has also served as chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo and on the panel investigating the U.N. “Oil for Food” program in Iraq. Justice Goldstone served as a professor at New York University Law School, Harvard Law School, and Fordham Law School, among others. In addition, he is the author of For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator, Yale University Press (2001).  He is a member of the Harris Institute International Council, and the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative Steering Committee.

2006 - The Honorable Philippe Kirsch

The Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies presented the 2006 World Peace Through Law Award to The Honorable Philippe Kirsch, commemorating the judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, on October 1, 1946. This award was presented during the Judgment at Nuremberg – Symposium, Commemoration, and Documentary held from Friday, 29 September through Sunday, 1 October, 2006. 


Washington University Law • Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute
Leila Nadya Sadat, Director of the Harris World Law Institute
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