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Obituary Benjamin B. Ferencz


IAP Medal of Honour recipient Mr. Benjamin B. Ferencz died at the age of 103

Dear members of the IAP,
The world has lost a heroic prosecutor and a champion of justice. On 7 April, Mr. Benjamin Ferencz passed away after a long life dedicated to justice.

You will recall that the 9th Medal of Honour, the IAP’s highest Award, was received by Mr. Benjamin Ferencz during the IAP Annual Conference in Johannesburg in 2018. The Medal of Honour may be awarded for several reasons, but Mr. Ferencz was awarded it because of his significant contribution to the promoting of the rule of law in an international context. The unique career of Benjamin Ferencz started as a prosecutor with his involvement in the Nuremberg Trial – the ”biggest murder trial in history”, as it was called, at the age of just 27, and his impressive career has continued throughout his life up to now. His motto was Law, not War!

Prosecutor Ferencz at the Nuremburg Trial

Due to his age, Mr. Ferencz was not able to travel to Johannesburg. Therefore, in January 2019, Executive Committee member Chris Toth and I visited Mr. Ferencz at his home in Florida, US, where we could honour him with the 9th IAP Medal of Honour for his unique career. Also, we could interview him. The ceremony and interview were recorded and can be watched in the video below:

I dare say that Mr. Ferencz has become a heroic voice of international law, of human rights and of peace. Remember the message of this hero addressed to us, prosecutors of the world: never give up!

Han Moraal
Secretary General of the IAP