Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On July 26

On this day in ...
... 1946 (65 years ago today), dapper in dark suit and bowtie, Justice Robert H. Jackson, on leave from the U.S. Supreme Court while serving as Chief U.S. Prosecutor, delivered his closing argument in the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. (credit for photo of Nuremberg courtroom) He would be followed by counterparts from other Allied prosecution teams. Jackson's address was both a condemnation of the defendants and a defense of the international law then being made. On account of the horrors of World War II, he told the judges,

we were moved to redress the blight on the record of our era. ... In drawing the Charter of this Tribunal, we thought we were recording an accomplished advance in international law. ... The Agreement of London, whether it originates or merely records, at all events marks a transition in international law which roughly corresponds to that in the evolution of local law when men ceased to punish crime by 'hue and cry; and began to let reason and inquiry govern punishment.

The video montage below of this address, as well as video clips of other "Nuremberg Days," is available here.

(Prior July 26 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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