WAR CRIMES: For Posterity

"To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice," said U.S. Prosecutor Robert Jackson in 1945 at the start of the first Nürnberg war crimes trials, "is to put it to our own lips as well. We must summon such detachment and intellectual integrity to our task that this trial will commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity's aspiration to do justice."

From the outset, the judging nations were not quite sure of what rights they had over the accused, or under what laws the conduct of the accused should be judged. The hope was...

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