International Law Outline

Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg

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Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg – 1945 (611)

  1. Defines three charges – crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity

  2. United States v. Joseph Alstoetter, et al. – 1948 (612-14)

    1. Leading Nazi judges and prosecutors accused of using court system against Jews, political prisoners and others, often leading to death sentences, claimed protection under nullum crimen sine lege

    2. SEVERAL justifications -

      1. Clarifies that rules about ex post factos couldn’t apply in same way – no international sovereign to enact statutes in the same way

        1. Product of “multipartite treaties, conventions, judicial decisions, and customs which have received int’l acceptance/acquiescence”

        2. Germany had signed Kellogg-Briand pact, which prohibited using war as national policy

          1. Should individuals be held accountable for treaty signed by STATE?

      2. Ridiculous to say you didn’t know what you were doing was wrong

        1. And, though can’t try because illegal in Germany, can’t be defense when act committed WAS punishable under his own domestic law.

      3. Intention to prosecute these crimes announced by states at war with Germany (some sense of notice)

      4. Treaty of Versailles – principle of personal responsibility had been noted

  3. IMT – tried 22, all but three convicted of at least one charge.

  • Also set up International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

  • Legacies of Nuremberg?

    1. Substantive law, particularly on crimes against humanity and war crimes

    2. Nothing re: procedure/evidence

  • Cold War – nothing until ICTY established in 1993

    1. Force majeure – large powers embarrassed not to have done anything in Rwanda or former Yugoslavia

  • Since then:

    1. International Criminal Court (ICC) – permanent court

    2. Courts established by UN Security Council under Chapter VII – claiming that the establishment of these tribunals was required for int’l peace and security

      1. ICTY

      2. ICTR

    3. Sierra Leone – hybrid tribunal

    4. Cambodia – hybrid tribunal, even more domestic

    5. Lebanon – just beginning, looks like Cambodia (domestic tribunal, with some int’l part)


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