The Legacy of Nuremberg and Lawyers as War Criminals
Must read of the day: When Lawyers are War Criminals: Remarks delivered by Scott Horton at the ASIL Centennial Conference on The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Bowling Green, OH, Oct. 7, 2006.
On the Military Commissions bill:
I want to ask today: What has this legislation done to the legacy of Nuremberg? Has it granted impunity to persons who committed war crimes? Is that impunity effective, and might it have unintended consequences?
At Nuremberg, Justice Jackson promised that this process would not be "victor's justice." He said "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our lips as well." Powerful words. A moral compact. Did the Bush Administration seek to repudiate Jackson's commitment? This can be answered quite clearly: yes. But did they succeed? That is less clear.
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