By Jerry Alatalo
enjamin Ferencz is now age 96 and the only living, surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials conducted after World War II came to an end. Since that time, 1946, Mr. Ferencz has been on a mission to create the international law infrastructure necessary to bring about effective deterrence to stop person(s) or group(s) considering conducting war crimes, crimes against humanity, wars of aggression, or genocide.
Through history up until today, too often the world’s most powerful have been able to commit, with no accountability or negative consequences – with impunity – atrocities through initiation of illegal wars: 1) carried out without being attacked, without any justification for the reason of self-defense, and 2) without getting United Nations Security Council approval. Harvard Law School graduate Ben Ferencz has worked hard all of his life to correct/fix that undesirable, often destructive situation in the world.
His idea for global jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, where all nations unanimously agree to join the court and abide by its laws, is perfectly reasonable, simple to understand, yet the highest vision hasn’t been reached; some nations, including the largest, remain outside of International Criminal Court jurisdiction.
While Mr. Ferencz has worked for decades to create the global legal institution, become well-known in legal, academic, peace activist, non-governmental organization circles etc. and continued on with focused efforts, he admits being 96 years old doesn’t leave a lot of time for him to see his vision accomplished. It would be unfortunate if he wasn’t able to see it occur before leaving this Earth, because such an outstanding proposal should have, rightly, come into existence a long time ago.
Of the remaining candidates for President of the United States – Clinton, Johnson, Stein and Trump – the platform of Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein calling for U.S. foreign policy based on international law and human rights seems most closely aligned with Mr. Ferencz.
People familiar with Benjamin Ferencz know his phrase “law not war”. He’s known for his encouraging words at the end of talks (especially to university students) to those puzzled on persisting delays in establishing such a global legal architecture, and the great promise of extensively reducing instances of illegal wars: “Never give up.. never give up.. never give up.”
For a truly good man like Benjamin Ferencz, one wishes he’ll see his life-long efforts bear fruit and that his dream of peace on Earth comes true. Thank you, Benjamin Ferencz.
(Thank you to Nuremberg Legacy Channel at YouTube)