Start Date

29-4-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

29-4-2014 11:45 AM


European History | Legal


Crimes against humanity -- Germany, Trials (Crimes against humanity) -- Case studies, Sheldon Glueck (1896-1980) -- Influence, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (Nuremberg Germany 1946-1949), Humanitarian law, War (International law)


The London Charter, signed in August 1945 by Allied leaders to establish the International Military Tribunal, included a seemingly novel category of wartime wrongdoing in the charges against Nazi leaders—crimes against humanity. Although condemned by some as ex post facto law ungrounded in legal precedent, this codified prohibition of destructive action taken by a government against its own citizens was a culmination of humanitarian theory which began in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War. Codified law protecting noncombatants developed during the following centuries, yet the violent excesses of World War I and the failure of the subsequent Leipzig trials revealed the inability of existing international law to prohibit unreasonable wartime atrocities. When presented with evidence of unprecedented German brutality after the conclusion of World War II, Harvard law professor Sheldon Glueck played an integral role in incorporating crimes against humanity into the charges at Nuremberg. This paper follows the development of civilian protections in times of military conflict, noting the shifts in military practice which precipitated the development of increasingly stringent humanitarian law.

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Apr 29th, 10:30 AM Apr 29th, 11:45 AM

The Nuremberg Trials and Crimes Against Humanity