- Erasmus Prize 2009 Awarded to Antonio Cassese and Benjamin Ferencz
AMSTERDAM, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation (Amsterdam)
has awarded the Erasmus Prize 2009 to two jurists of world renown, the Italian
Antonio Cassese and the American Benjamin Ferencz.
The Prize is awarded annually to a person who, within the cultural
traditions of Europe, has made an especially important contribution to
culture, society or social science in Europe. The prize money is a sum of EUR
150.000. The award ceremony of the Prize will take place in November 2009.
The theme of the Erasmus Prize 2009 is "International Prosecution and
Trial of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity". The Praemium Erasmianum
Foundation regards the two laureates as key figures in the international trial
of war crimes. Ferencz has fought all his life for an international trial of
the most serious violations of humanitarian law and emphasised the importance
of individual responsibility; Cassese has played a fundamental role in
institutionalising this trial.
Antonio Cassese (1937), professor of international law at the University
of Florence, has made both scholarly and practical contributions to the field.
In the responsible position of first President of the International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (elected 1993) he has been of
great significance for the functioning of this Tribunal in its earliest period
and for the establishment of the authority of this and other tribunals. After
resigning as judge in the Yugoslavia Tribunal, Cassese has, among other
duties, headed the Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, established by the United
Nations Security Council in 2004.
After the trials of Nuremberg and Tokyo international administration of
criminal justice has received less attention. Benjamin Ferencz (1920) however,
forms the personal link with what is now happening in international criminal
law. In 1947-48 he was Chief Prosecutor in Nuremberg. As an engaged citizen,
on his personal initiative and only appreciated by private organisations, he
has continuously argued for recognition of international humanitarian criminal
law. That these institutions have come into being after 1990 is in no small
part also thanks to his efforts. He has played an important role in the
establishment of the International Criminal Court.
http://www.erasmusprijs.org for more biographical information.
For further information:
For further information: Prof. Max Sparreboom, Praemium Erasmianum
Foundation, tel.+31-20-6752753, fax +31-20-6752231, email