Carla Del Ponte, the Swiss former prosecutor of the UN tribunals for Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia, has been awarded the Hessian Peace Prize.
The 71-year-old received the award on Friday in the parliament of the West German state of Hesse in Wiesbaden.
Del Ponte “did not shy away from any conflict in her efforts to help victims of serious human rights violations achieve justice”, according to the award organisers.
"She did not so much go after the small fry but those who were moving the machinery of evil," said Angelika Nussberger, vice president of the European Court of Human Rights.
Del Ponte was chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) from 1999 to 2007, and served in the same role for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 1999 to 2003.
Most recently, she was a UN special investigator on war crimes in Syria. However, she stepped down from the position last year out of frustration at UN inaction.
Del Ponte, known for her outspokenness, is also co-author of a bookexternal link about her experiences as an international war crimes prosecutor.
The Hessian Peace Prize, endowed with € 25,000 (CHF28,745), was established in 1993 by Albert Osswald, the former prime minister of the German state of Hesse. It is awarded annually to people who have rendered “outstanding services to international understanding and peace”.