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 Recipient: 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 will 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.”
Past Award Recipients
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, 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.
2013 – His Excellency Sir Christopher Greenwood
The 2013 laureate of the World Peace Through Law award, His Excellency Sir Christopher Greenwood QC was elected in 2009 to serve as the British judge on the International Court of Justice in The Hague. 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.
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.
2010 – Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni
Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni was named recipient of the award in 2010. Professor Bassiouni 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.
2008 – The Honorable Richard Goldstone
The 2008 laureate, Justice Richard Goldstone, 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.
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.