Benjamin Ferencz and the Treatment of Victims in International Criminal Law: Mapping Out Lex Lata and Lex Ferenda (Ferencza?) in an Emerging Field
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AbstractThis piece examines a hitherto underexplored legal history chapter in international criminal law pioneer Benjamin Ferencz’s career, and, based on that, offers fixes for problems in current atrocity victim law. Known primarily for his Nuremberg prosecutorial exploits, Ferencz actually spent most of his career innovatively seeking reparations for Holocaust survivors and then later, with the benefit of such experience, sought to ensure coverage of victims in the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. After examining this history, the article maps Ferencz’s trailblazing practices onto the atrocity victim lex lata. It then considers that law’s deficits, including front-end and back-end problems (i.e., at the investigation and early release application phases), International Criminal Court retributive versus reparative mission dissonance, inadequate funding, hindrances to proactive victim participation and victim exclusion in prosecuting aggression. For each problem, Ferencz’s history offers viable solutions, such as victim-oriented investigations, bifurcated retribution/restitution processes, bilateral treaty funding, transnational victim networking, and charging illegal use of force as crimes against humanity. As a result, perhaps such proposed modifications of the framework should not be called lex ferenda, but rather ‘lex ferencza.’
All Author(s) ListGregory S. Gordon
Journal nameInternational Criminal Law Review
Year2023
Month5
Volume Number23
Issue Number2
PublisherBrill
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Pages239 - 283
ISSN1567-536X
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsinternational criminal law, victims, reparations, benjamin ferencz, Nuremberg Trials, International Criminal Law

Last updated on 2024-04-01 at 11:26