Happy Seventy-First Birthday Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg trials are seventy one years old ago today. Idealistic, flawed, controversial, admirable, disappointing, fascinating, troubling events they were too. Well worth remembering. Well worth arguing a great deal about.
The charge of hypocrisy is easily made and easily proven – but “hypocrisy” does not invalidate the procedures. Of course the trials represented “victors’ justice” – but what other justice was possible? Without victory over the Nazis – what possible way of holding them to account could there have been? The judicial process presupposes some form of political authority. There can be no law without order – although seemingly there can be various forms of order without law.
Most crimes go unpunished. Speeding motorists, burglars, evil governments – mostly undergo no form of trial. If we were to try nobody until we could try everyone – then the very concept of criminal law would vanish from the face of…
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