The Significance of the Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials

Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“Of course, the Nuremberg trial was just the first and most well-known of the trials. Twelve subsequent trials were held. And not only military personnel were prosecuted, but diplomats, doctors, lawyers, journalists, concentration camp guards, and Einsatzgruppen members. In the far east similar trials were held at Tokyo. The trials were significant in that they ‘disaggregated the legal abstraction called the sovereign ‘state.'” (Akhavan 88) What these trials do is bring the concept of individual responsibility to bear on crimes perpetrated by the state. Just following orders or doing one’s job is not seen as an excuse.” (05/06/22)