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Heller, Kevin Jon (2013) The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law (Paperback Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Abstract

This book provides a comprehensive legal analysis of the twelve war crimes trials held in the American zone of occupation between 1946 and 1949, collectively known as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMTs). The judgments the NMTs produced have played a critical role in the development of international criminal law, particularly in terms of how courts currently understand war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. The trials are also of tremendous historical importance, because they provide a far more comprehensive picture of Nazi atrocities than their more famous predecessor, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (IMT). The IMT focused exclusively on the ‘major war criminals’ — the Goerings, the Hesses, the Speers. The NMTs, by contrast, prosecuted doctors, lawyers, judges, industrialists, bankers — the private citizens and lower-level functionaries whose willingness to take part in the destruction of millions of innocents manifested what Hannah Arendt famously called ‘the banality of evil’. The book is divided into five sections. The first section traces the evolution of the twelve NMT trials. The second section discusses the law, procedure, and rules of evidence applied by the tribunals, with a focus on the important differences between Law No. 10 and the Nuremberg Charter. The third section, the heart of the book, provides a systematic analysis of the tribunals' jurisprudence. It covers Law No. 10's core crimes — crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity — as well as the crimes of conspiracy and membership in a criminal organization. The fourth section then examines the modes of participation and defences that the tribunals recognized. The final section deals with sentencing, the aftermath of the trials, and their historical legacy.

Item Type: Authored Books
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
ISBN: 9780199668168
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554317.001.0001
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2015 17:09
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21577

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