NPWJ Celebrates the Life of Ben Ferencz, Commits to his motto: “Never Give Up”

11 Apr, 2023 | Press Releases

Rome/Brussels, 11 April 2023

The world has lost a champion for peace and justice with the passing last Friday of Benjamin B. Ferencz. He was an extraordinary force for the rule of law, insisting that the law must apply equally to everyone and that there must be a sound legal apparatus to enforce and guarantee justice. His contribution to the international legal order cannot be overstated; the international criminal justice landscape would look very different today if the then young lawyer prosecuting his first case in the Einsatzgruppen case had not dedicated his life to the rule of law.

Ben was a constant strength in the drive to establish the International Criminal Court, inspiring thousands in that journey. Alison Smith, NPWJ’s International Justice Director, recalls Ben with fondness: “As a young law student, seeking to enter the international criminal justice world, I took a chance and wrote to him. I was surprised when he replied – although having since met him, I realise I should not have been; his words helped boost my confidence that my chosen path was not only attainable, it could actually contribute to positive change for victims of atrocities.”

We express our deepest condolences to Ben’s family and friends. And we pledge, as many others have, not to give up in our quest for peace, justice and the rule of law.