The legacy of the Nuremberg trials: 60 years on

Bachmann, Sascha (2007) The legacy of the Nuremberg trials: 60 years on. Journal of South African Law . pp. 532-551. ISSN 0257–7747

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Abstract

World War II cost the lives of approximately 55 million people, mostly civilian non-combatants, and saw the commission of widespread human rights atrocities
on all sides. The mass murder conducted by Nazi Germany in its concentration and extermination camps and other human rights atrocities which were committed by its armed forces and security personnel mainly in Eastern Europe led to the establishment of the international military tribunal of Nuremberg in 1946.
Consequently, the four main victors of World War II, the United States of America, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and France, decided to bring the perpetrators of the defeated enemy to justice before their ‘‘own’’ international – albeit allied – tribunal, with the prosecution following the explicit objective that ‘‘justice and not revenge’’ should be the main motive behind it. Consequently, the United States’ view that the defendants were to be granted a fair trial dominated.2 Or, as their chief prosecutor, Jackson, stated in his wellknown
opening address, ‘‘the four great nations flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of law’’. This article assesses its legacy in 2005 - 60 years on.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:World War II cost the lives of approximately 55 million people, mostly civilian non-combatants, and saw the commission of widespread human rights atrocities on all sides. The mass murder conducted by Nazi Germany in its concentration and extermination camps and other human rights atrocities which were committed by its armed forces and security personnel mainly in Eastern Europe led to the establishment of the international military tribunal of Nuremberg in 1946. Consequently, the four main victors of World War II, the United States of America, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and France, decided to bring the perpetrators of the defeated enemy to justice before their ‘‘own’’ international – albeit allied – tribunal, with the prosecution following the explicit objective that ‘‘justice and not revenge’’ should be the main motive behind it. Consequently, the United States’ view that the defendants were to be granted a fair trial dominated.2 Or, as their chief prosecutor, Jackson, stated in his wellknown opening address, ‘‘the four great nations flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of law’’. This article assesses its legacy in 2005 - 60 years on.
Keywords:International law, international criminal courts and tribunals, international criminal justice, Nuremberg, Nazi War Criminals, bmjissn
Subjects:M Law > M211 Criminal Law
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:6459
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:07 Oct 2012 12:39
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:16

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