2020 World Peace Through Law Award & 20th Anniversary Virtual Gala – November 18, 2020
Patricia Viseur Sellers
The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute celebrated twenty years of academic excellence on November 18, 2020. Founded in 2000 as the Washington University School of Law “Institute for Global Legal Studies,” the Institute was renamed in 2002 in honor and recognition of Whitney R. Harris’ lifelong achievements in the field of international justice, and his support of legal education and research.
The Harris Institute enhances the intellectual vibrancy of Washington University School of Law and the University and fosters collaboration, dialogue, and exchange among colleagues at home and abroad who are engaged in international or comparative work. Through a combination of education and research, the Institute’s mission is to increase global knowledge and understanding, promote the rule of law, and address problems that require international cooperation and global solutions.
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 by a gift from Whitney and Anna Harris, the Award recognizes individuals who have achieved great distinction in the field of international law and international relations.
The 2020 World Peace Through Law Award laureate, Ms. Patricia Viseur Sellers, is an international criminal lawyer. She is the Special Advisor for Gender for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College of the University of Oxford where she teaches international criminal law and human rights law and was the Legal Advisor for Gender, Acting Head of the Legal Advisory Section, and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav (ICTY) Tribunal from 1994-2007 and the Legal Advisor for Gender at the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR) from 1995-1999. Ms. Sellers advises governments, international institutions, and civil society organizations on international criminal law and humanitarian law. Her expertise focuses on the strategic investigation and prosecution of sexual violence.
Past Award Recipients
2018 – Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert
The 2018 laureate of the World Peace Through Law Award, Her Excellency Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert, is a specialist in international criminal law, criminal procedure, and comparative criminal law whose career spans decades. She served as a judge at the International Criminal Court from 2009-2018, and 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 has served as a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative’s Steering Committee since 2007 and has made invaluable contributions in advocating for peace through the rule of law. She has also served as rapporteur for the International Law Association on extradition and human rights and a general reporter for the Association Internationale de Droit Pénal in Budapest relating to international cooperation to combat organized crime. 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.”
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.