What Is The Legacy Of The Nuremberg Trials: Pros And Answers
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On 8th August, 1945, shortly after the end of World War II in May of 1945, the Allied governments entered into a joint agreement establishing the International Military Tribunal for the purpose of trying those responsible for the war atrocities. Whereas some 5,000 Nazi’s were charged with war crimes, the Nuremberg trials were designed specifically to prosecute high ranking Nazi officials with whom the authority for the commission of heinous atrocities rested.
The Nuremberg Trials would therefore be marked in history as one of its kind. Prior to its formation, war crimes were limited to the military courts of the individual countries and for the very first time the Nuremberg Trials would mark the inception of the concept of collective guilt as a justification for punishment. The four counts of indictment were: Conspiracy to commit crimes alleged in other counts, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This paper seeks to canvass the legacy of the Nuremberg Trial; the legal justifications and procedural innovations that were once controversial and which through the turn of the century have now come to be regarded as a milestone towards the application of principles of international law, establishment of a permanent international criminal court enshrined under the Rome Statute and setting new precedents for the international community. Furthermore, the author seeks to juxtapose the legal and political justifications given for the