Nuremberg Trial Justice

Topics: Nuremberg Trials, Nuremberg Principles, Law Pages: 4 (1130 words) Published: October 24, 2013
Nate Murphy
Prof. Levin
Intro to Law and Politics 3200-001
09-30-2013

On the Justice of Law Concerning War Criminals
The clarity brought on by the past century’s globalization in both civil and military theatres has partially lifted the fog of war. Intra-state, ethno-culturally centered ongoing conflicts have yielded many of the most prolific cases of human rights violations in history, and thus have presented the world with the enigma of trying and sentencing these criminals without violating the mandates (or norms) that they wish to enforce. Faced with lack of precedent, many courts have seemingly cited laws for the first time only after they have been broken, risking the viability of both the court and distorting law internationally. Furthermore, the trials of the offenders are often little more than post-conflict authoritarian demonstrations of power, with little legal legitimacy. The Nuremberg Trials will be examined as evidence to the assertion that these trials are detrimental to the pre-existing legal system and to the advancement of war criminal law as a whole.

The Nuremberg criminals were officially charged on four counts; war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, and conspiracy to wage war. These charges are divisible into human and political law, with the first two cited being directed at human atrocities, and the latter duo falling under the political spectrum. All four charges are flawed on their own as well as common ground, starting with their derivatives.

Directly contradicting the trial’s convictions against human rights and wartime law is the superior orders theory. German doctrines have been proven to have directly contradicted the international standards of the Hague Convention, allowing civilian abuse if it will further the war’s agenda. The German soldiers and officers were acting under the direct orders of their respective commanders, under penalty of exile or death. A logical course of thought would not lead...
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