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Gregor Bachmann
Nina Boeger
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Senior Editors: 

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Jurgen Bast
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Patrycja Dabrowska
Elisa Hoven
Jen Hendry
Malcolm MacLaren
Stefan Magen
Ralf Michaels
Christoph Safferling
Emanuel Towfigh
Floris de Witte

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Anna Katharina von Oettingen 

Judging Nuremberg: The Laws, the Rallies, the Trials

By Tobias Lock and Julia Riem
Read the Full Contribution as a PDF

Suggested Citation: Tobias Lock and Julia Riem, Judging Nuremberg: The Laws, the Rallies, the Trials, 6 German Law Journal 1819-1832 (2005), available at

A. Introduction

The 60th anniversary of the trial against the major war criminals of World War II before the International Military Tribunal Trial (IMT) in Nuremberg was the subject matter of an international conference held in Nuremberg from Sunday, July 17 to Wednesday, July 20, 2005. The conference was presented by Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, Institute on the Holocaust and the Law, Huntington, USA,  in association with the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” – “Remembrance and Future” Fund, supported, amongst others, by the Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg, the Faculty of Law, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg and the German-American Lawyers’ Association.

The pre-conference session was opened by the President of the Nuremberg Higher Regional Court, Dr. Stefan Franke, who welcomed the audience in “the room where world history was made”, the original setting of the IMT in courtroom 600 at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. He was followed by Prof. Dr. Mathias Rohe (Dean of Law, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg), who, as a sign of remembrance, read out a list of those members of the University who were deprived of their doctorates during the Third Reich.

B. Historical and national perspectives in the IMT

An expert on each Allied nation and a German Scholar presented the different interests and expectations of the participating nations. Prof. Raymond Brown (Seton Hall School of Law, New Jersey, U.S.) emphasised the impact of the Nuremberg trials on the development of modern international criminal law, stating that Nuremberg had created a “normative architecture” in this respect. Brown perceives irony in the fact that today, there is a tendency to take the IMT for granted. According to Brown, in the US there were disputes regarding the establishment of a military tribunal, as summary executions or national proceedings had been discussed as competing ideas for a long time. Brown critically drew parallels between the American commitment in Nuremberg, in particular with respect to the crime of aggression, and the United States’ current political position regarding Art. 51 of the UN-Charter...