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Lessons from the Nuremberg trials

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by -, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Guest

    By David Pannick, QC
    It is 60 years since the Allies tried the Nazis for their war crimes. How has international law benefited?

    SIXTY years ago this week, on September 30, 1946, the War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg gave judgment on 22 Nazi war criminals after a trial lasting ten months. The tribunal’s achievements in providing a fair trial in the most difficult circumstances retain a strong contemporary relevance when politicians are tempted (sometimes understandably) to abandon the rule of law under the pressure of the terrible crimes committed by those who wish to destroy a free society.

    As the Allies began to triumph at the end of the Second World War, attention turned to the problem of how to deal with the leaders of Nazi Germany. Stalin did not think this was a difficult issue. At the Tehran Conference at the end of 1943, he proposed a toast: “I drink to the justice of the firing squad.â€
  2. Guest

    Okay, and how many "aggressive" wars have there been since 1945? How many war-crimes trials have taken place?
  3. Guest

    Hehee, many
  4. Guest

    Yes, there have been hundreds of wars since 1945. I remember that a long time ago I read that one 'think tank' wrote that there had been over three-hundred wars on-going. But they didn't state their criteria for what a war was.

    Plenty of war-crimes trials, too.
    Even right now there are a few in Central Africa (where wars continue), and the Int'l court of Justice in The Hague continues with Bosnia.

    In the mid-1990's PBS broadcast a 6 hour documentary on the Neuremburg trials. I taped it and still have the tape. I have watched it twice. It seems to me that the judges had their minds made up, knowing the defendants were guilty, before the trials started. Even then, as I remember, one man was found innocent.

    I don't believe that the trials improved Int'l law at all. The way I see it, people in the West now-a-days are so concerned about protecting the rights of the accused that the practice of law looks silly.

    Just look at the war trials going on in the Hague and in Cambodia. It's been decades since the war ended, yet people have not been tried, or the continuances last for many years. The accused are housed and protected free of cost until, finally, they die of old age. And how long has it been that known terrorists have been sitting for years in Gitmo, while many argue that they must have a civil trial. Ones that will see them die of old age before they finish, at great expense to the country. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE!

    The West must become more pragmatic and sensible before we red-tape ourselves to death.

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