Tom Harris wins Runner Up prize for second edition of the Benjamin Ferencz Essay Contest


Globalisation & Law (2014/15) student Tom Harris has won the Runner Up prize for the second edition of the Benjamin Ferencz Essay Contest. His master's thesis addressed the question whether the principle of proportionality under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) may be judged in part based on the legality of the war and its military objective, thereby enabling the ICC to consider the question of jus ad bellum in a war crimes trial. Based on an in-depth analysis of the rationales behind jus ad bellum and IHL, the ICC's jurisdiction over aggression, and principles of criminal responsibility he comes to the conclusion that the ICC cannot do so. In his view, to enable such consideration would violate treaty provisions and principles of IHL/ICL and general principles of law.

The competition outcome was publicly announced at the beginning of the International Law Association's International Law Weekend Conference, "The International Law Legacy of the Obama Administration," held at Case Western Reserve University on September 18, 2015. His accomplishment comes with a commemorative plaque, a publication in the Spring 2016 volume of the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, and an award in the amount of $2,500 (USD). 

The contest is named in honor of famed Nuremberg Prosecutor, Ben Ferencz, who has devoted his life to achieving peace through justice. At the age of 27 he became Chief Prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Case, in which 22 defendants were convicted for the brutal murder of more than a million innocent men, women and children. 

Tom's thesis was supervised by Remy Jorritsma, who, on behalf of the Faculty, wishes to express his congratulations to Tom for this fantastic achievement.

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