Nuremberg Tribunal

Justice Robert Jackson, prosecutor for US at Nuremberg:
  • "[W]e are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."
Nuremberg Charter - Article 6
  • Crimes against peace (aggression)
  • War crimes (mistreatment of civilians and prisoners, misuse of weapons)
  • Crimes against humanity (massive killing of civilians)
Principles of Nuremberg
  • Individuals are responsible if they commit "a crime under international law"
  • Heads of State do not have immunity from prosecution
  • The "defense of superior orders" will not relieve an individual of responsibility, "provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him"

Thoughts Regarding Nuremberg
  • Did the Tribunal apply existing law to the actions of the defendants?
    • Or did they create new law?
  • Did this proceeding violate the principle prohibiting ex post facto prosecutions?
    • Nuremberg prosecutor and the Court tried to say no—
      • That judgment reaffirmed, applied existing law
      • BUT, in reality, Nuremberg essentially created new law
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