Ben Ferencz, the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials, will come to Duke Jan. 31 to discuss the trial’s impact on international jurisprudence and contemporary human atrocities.

The discussion will feature Ferencz alongside his son Donald Ferencz, a renowned international lawyer, and Duke alumnus Michael Scharf, Trinity '85, Law '88 and dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. The free event will be held from 6-7 p.m. in Fleishman Commons at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

“The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is honored to host Ben Ferencz,” said Laura Lieber, professor of religious studies and director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, in a statement released by Duke Today. “As the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials, he brings unique depth and nuance to vitally important, ongoing dialogues concerning international justice work and human rights.”

Ferencz was only 27 years old when he became an investigator of Nazi war crimes and chief prosecutor for the United States Army at the Einsatzgruppen trial—his first case—which tried 22 defendants for the murder of over a million people. Deemed “the biggest murder trial in history” by the Associated Press, the trial resulted in the conviction of all defendants. Following his work in Nuremberg, he became an advocate for the international rule of law and the International Criminal Court.

Donald Ferencz—who is a lawyer and advocate of international justice like his father—is the founder and conveyor of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression, which works to advance the goal of criminalizing the illegal use of force. He also organized the 2010 campaign to ratify amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Two amendments were ratified, one which criminalized the use of certain weapons in non-international conflicts, and the other which established a definition for the crime of aggression.

Currently, the younger Ferencz is a visiting professor at the Middlesex University School of Law.

Joining the father-son duo is Michael Scharf, law school dean at Case Western. He is also the director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western, and co-founder of the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated non-governmental organization that provides pro bono legal assistance to developing states and states in transition.