The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Influence or Institutionalised Vengeance?


In this new collection of essays the editors assess the legacy of the Nuremberg Trial asking whether the Trial really did have a civilising influence or if it constituted little more than institutionalised vengeance. Three essays focus particularly on the historical context and involve rich analysis of, for example, the atmospherics of the Trial itself and the attitudes of German society at the time to the conduct of the Trial. The majority of the essays deal with the contemporary legacies of the Nuremberg Trial and attempt to assess the ongoing relevance of the Judgment itself and of the principles encapsulated in it. Some essays consider the importance of the principle of individual criminal responsibility under international law and argue that the international community has to some extent failed to fulfil the promise of Nuremberg in the decades since the Trial. Other essays focus on contemporary application of aspects of the substantive law of Nuremberg - particularly the international crime of aggression, the law of military occupation and the use of the crime of conspiracy as an alternative basis of criminal responsibility. The collection also includes essays analysing the nature and operation of a number of international criminal tribunals since Nuremberg including the permanent International Criminal Court. The final grouping of essays focus on the impact of the Nuremberg Trial on Australia examining, in particular, Australia’s post-World War Two war crimes trials of Japanese defendants, Australia’s extensive national case law on Article 1(F) of the Refugee Convention and Australia’s national implementing legislation for the Rome Statute.
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Biographical Note

David Blumenthal is Lecturer in Criminal Law and an academic staff member of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at the Melbourne Law School. Tim McCormack is the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law and the Foundation Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at the Melbourne Law School.

Table of contents

Foreword Rt. Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen; Notes on Contributors; Editors’ Preface; Part One The Nuremberg Trial in Historical Context : Chapter 1 The Atmospherics of the Nuremberg Trial William Maley; Chapter 2 The Nuremberg Tribunal and German Society: International Justice and Local Judgment in Post-Conflict Reconstruction Susanne Karstedt; Part Two Nuremberg and the Importance of Criminal Responsibility:Chapter 3 The Importance of a Retributive Approach to Justice Graham T. Blewitt AM; Chapter 4 Investigating International Crimes: A Review of International Law Enforcement Strategies Expediency v Effectiveness John H. Ralston and Sarah Finnin; Chapter 5 Justice Betrayed: Post-1945 Responses to Genocide Mark Aarons; Part Three Nuremberg and the Development of Substantive International Criminal Law: Chapter 6 Contributions of the Nuremberg Trial to the Subsequent Development of International Law Michael J. Kelly and Timothy L.H. McCormack; Chapter 7 The Crime of Aggression: Born of the Failure of Collective Security – Still Shackled to its Fate? Time to Catch Up or Part Ways Carrie McDougall; Part Four Nuremberg and Transitional Justice Institution Building: Chapter 8 Evaluating Timor Leste’s Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Annemarie Devereux and Lia Kent; Chapter 9 Different Models of Tribunals Madelaine Chiam; Chapter 10 The Operations of the International Criminal Court – A Brief Overview and First Impressions Geoffrey Skillen; Part Five Nuremberg and Australian Implementation of International Criminal Law: Chapter 11 Australia’s Prosecution of Japanese War Criminals: Stimuli and Constraints Michael Carrel; Chapter 12 Excluding the Undesirable: Interpreting Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention in Australia Alison Duxbury; Chapter 13 Australian Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court David Blumenthal.