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Nuremberg Effect on Contemporary International Criminal Justice

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2008 Pages: 361-372
Harry M. Rhea
Date Published
December 2008
12 pages
This paper analyzes the process of International criminal justice through the International Military Tribunal, with attention to how the Nuremberg Trial following the war against Nazi Germany (World War II) continues to influence the international community’s attempt to administer justice against ethnic cleansing and genocide during the 1990s and currently under the International Criminal Court.
As a result of the Holocaust and other international crimes, many Nazi perpetrators were prosecuted at Nuremberg not only to administer justice for survivors and victims’ families, but also to restore a sense of international moral order to which nations and societies should adhere. This underlying rationale for the Nuremberg trial was evident some 50 years later when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in 1993, as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994. Following these actions, a treaty was created in Rome in 1998 for the International Criminal Court (ICC), which became active in 2002. During the “cold war,” international efforts to monitor and bring charges against violators of international law faltered due to a lack of consensus about violations within the UNSC; however, since the end of the cold war, there has been more agreement within the UNSC regarding the achievement of international criminal justice. The United Nations International Law Commission adopted the Nuremberg Principles in 1950. The principles’ basic premise is that all individuals, no matter what their ranks or positions, are subject to international criminal prosecution for crimes that violate international law. This paper states and discusses the seven principles of international law stemming from the Nuremberg Trial. 27 references