Law, History & Politics: Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (c. 1945-48)

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For this meeting, we'll discuss the Nuremberg Trial and Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, and analyze its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics.

o that end, we'll discuss and evaluate the following:

I. Law

The purported merits of a public trial before an international tribunal.

The makeup of the trial participants, including prosecutors, defense counsels, and the panel of judges.

The overview of the trial, verdict, and sentencing.

Judge Radhabinod Pal of India's dissenting opinion in the Tokyo Trials.

The Nuremberg Principles

The indictment against Japanese "Class A" war criminal defendants

The development of international criminal law and the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

II. History

A brief discussion on the outcome of WWII.

III. Politics

The principle of "Victor's Justice."

The "moral relativism" in the application of "international law."

Possible unintended consequences of public trials by inspiring the resurgence of Nazi, Fascist, and and Imperialist movements.

The post-War geopolitical ramifications in both Germany and Japan.


More about LHP:

The LHP series explore the intersections of its namesake -- an in-depth study of a particular law, court decision, or a legal precedent that shaped the political forces and its historical ramifications.

Last year, the LHP series covered subject matters that directly related to the U.S. We read and discussed landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, particular Constitutional Amendments, or an influential legislative body of work.

For Season Two, the advanced LHP series will explore international and comparative law from a historic perspective. These may include: Magna Carta, the Code of Justinian, the Code of Hammurabi -- to more recent selections, such as the Treaty of Versailles, the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention.

For Season Three, we'll discuss the aftermath of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the various treaties, and read and discuss the Napoleonic Civil Code.


LHP series (Season Two):

• The French Revolution (July 2018) (

• The Russian Revolution (c. 1917) (June 2018):

• The "Beer Hall Putsch" -- Munich, Bavaria (c. 1923) (May 2018):

• The Treaty of Versailles (March 2018):

• Magna Carta (Jan. 2018):


LHP series (Season One):

• Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges (December 2017):

• Brown v. Board of Ed. (Sept. 2017):

• The Chinese Exclusion Act and Korematsu v. U.S. (July 2017): ( )

• Plessy v. Ferguson, (April 2017) -- a reading and critical discussion of the "Separate But Equal" doctrine:

• Federalist Papers Nos. 2 and 68, and the Dred Scott Decision (Feb. 2017):