Source: Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals.  United Nations War Crimes Commission, Volume VII, London, HMSO, 1949

FOREWORD to Volume XV

Digest of Laws and Cases

Law Reports of the Trials of War Criminals

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This Foreword might also be called “ Epilogue ” because .the volume marks the completion, in March, 1949, of an undertaking commenced in the summer of 1946, namely the preparation of a collection of reports of representative trials of war criminals in connection with World War II.  It has been pointed out that the main object of these Reports is to help to elucidate the law, i.e. that part of International Law which has been called the law of war. A very general idea of what that means can be found in the judgment of that great judge, the late C. J. Stone, in the Supreme Court of the United States, on Yamashita, reported in Volume IV on p. 38.

Stone, C. J., said :

In Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, we had occasion to consider at length the sources and nature of the authority to create military commissions for the trial of enemy combatants for offences against the law of war. We there pointed out that Congress, in the exercise of the power conferred upon it by Article I, s. 8, Cl. 10 of the Constitution to ‘ define and punish . . . Offences against the law of Nations . . .’, of which the Law of War is a part, had by the Articles of War (10 U.S.C., ss. 1471-1593) recognised the ‘ military commission ’ appointed by military command, as it had previously existed in United States Army practice, as an appropriate tribunal for the trial and punishment of offences against the Law of War. Article 15 declares that ‘ the provisions of these articles conferring jurisdiction upon courts martial shall not be construed as depriving military commissions . . . or other military tribunals of concurrent jurisdiction in respect of offenders or offences that by statute or by the Law of War may be triable by such military commissions . . .or other military tribunals.’ See a similar provision of the Espionage Act of 1917, 50 U.S.C., s. 38. Article 2 includes among those persons subject to the Articles of War the personnel of our own military establishment. But this, as Article 12 indicates, does not exclude from the class of persons subject to trial by military commissions ‘ any other person who by the Law of War is subject to trial by military tribunals,’ and who, under Article 12, may be tried by court martial, or under Article 15 by military commission.

“ We further pointed out that Congress, by sanctioning trial of enemy combatants for violations of the Law of War by military commission, had not attempted to codify the law of war or to mark its precise boundaries. Instead, by Article 15 it had incorporated, by reference, as within the pre-existing jurisdiction of military commissions created by appropriate military command, all offences which are defined as such by the Law of War, and which may constitutionally be included within that jurisdiction. It thus adopted the system of military common law applied by military tribunals so far as it should be recognised and deemed applicable by the courts, and as further defined and supplemented by the Hague Convention, to which the United States and the Axis Powers were parties.”

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I quote this, here at the outset, to explain that the law of war is a system of law different in character from the ordinary municipal laws of the various countries ; it is International Law, not the law of any one State. Stone, C. J., is speaking of one type of Court (the Military Court) frequently made use of to administer and declare this law of war. It is, however, clear that it may be administered by the municipal courts of belligerent countries if these courts are specially commissioned for that object, and equipped if need be with special jurisdiction to enable them to discharge the trust.

  The cases reported here will illustrate both types. In the Annexes to the different volumes will be found how different allied nations equipped their municipal courts with the necessary jurisdiction beyond or in modification of their normal functions for the administration of their municipal law. But each court when it so acts is deemed to be administering International Law. In the same way the mandate given to a Military Court, such as the International Military Tribunal and the United States Military Tribunals in which were held the Subsequent Proceedings at Nuremberg, is in general governed by International Law and these courts are municipal courts only in so far as their mandate deviates from International Law. Such a court is an international court, regardless of the circumstance that it is convened by and is administered by a national Government. A precise parallel is afforded by a Prize Court. As the law is International Law, it must not be confused with the municipal law of the convening Government. It is the law of nations, which cannot be created by the enactment of any particular national legislature. No doubt a court commissioned to try cases according to International Law may also be governed in part by some other law, because that law is included in the terms of its commission : a court cannot depart from the mandate given by its convening authority. Generally and substantially, however, the jurisdiction conferred on the courts we are concerned with, whatever their convening authority, will be found to be in accordance with International Law. But if the law of the court cannot be found in the acts of the particular national legislature or in the jurisprudence established by the courts of that country, where, it will be asked, is it to be found ? Answers to that question will emerge from considering the decisions reported in these volumes. Stone, C. J., in the judgment just referred to, gave a general answer. More detailed explanations may be extracted from other judgments reported in these volumes All I want to emphasise at the moment is that the law of war is a definite body of jurisprudence, giving a “ standard certain ”, to quote the words of Scott and Lancing in the Minority Report annexed to the Report of the Commission on Responsibilities issued at the end of World War I. When these distinguished lawyers spoke of a “ standard certain ” , they were adopting the standards familiar to common lawyers who start with traditional rules and develop them to meet the demands of justice in view of the particular cases before them. The law of war has a long history. Some day that history will perhaps be written. At the moment . what it is sought to indicate here (as it was in the History recently published of the United Nations War Crimes Commission) is the development of the law of war as illustrated by the decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction in and since the war. One characteristic feature of every law of the common law type, is the apparatus of law reports, which, whether regarded as of coercive authority or of merely persuasive authority, as in the case of the

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common law or customary law of war, give legal life and substantial definition to what might otherwise be regarded as a mere collection of moral generalisations. Similarly the development of Prize Law can be traced in the authoritative reports of cases decided in the British Court of Admiralty and in the United States Reports.

The Fourth Hague Convention, which was a revised and enlarged version of the similar conventions which preceded it, sought to safeguard the rights in war, not merely as between the actual belligerent forces inter se, but also to secure protection to the civilian populations. This Convention, along with the Conventions for the protection of Prisoners of War (the Geneva Conventions) certainly fulfilled a great purpose in giving a legal form and substance to general rules which had been recognised to some extent in practice : particular instances of the enforcement of the law of war had been recorded, such as the execution of Major Andre as a spy by General Washington, but only after a fair trial, and the execution of the confederate Colonel Wirz during the American Civil War as a war criminal. But as Stone, C. J., points out in Ex parte Quirin, these were only two instances out of many of sentences by Military Tribunals over a long period of years, exemplifying offences against the law of war and enforcing the individual responsibility and the punishment of the offender. The object was to vindicate the rule of the law of war.

At the end of World War I, as everybody knows, there were admirable declarations that war crimes would be punished, and lists of criminals were prepared by a fact-finding committee, but nothing practical was effected towards identifying, tracing and apprehending accused individuals or putting them on trial, though an excellent report, with lists of war crimes, was prepared by the Commission on Responsibilities already referred to. The whole thing was abandoned after a few unsatisfactory trials, though at least one useful judgment was produced by the Leipzig Court in the Llandovery Castle case, and though the Leipzig cases (as they have been called) showed how hopeless it was to expect justice in these circumstances from the courts of the Reich. Hence it came about that the victorious Allies after World War II decided to try war criminals themselves, adopting either the system of the military courts or that of the national courts. They refused to think that Allied courts could not be impartial. Their decision has been amply justified by the trials that have been held. The International Military Tribunals, held one at Nuremberg and the other at Tokyo, stand as convincing proofs that impartial justice can in this way be administered. This has also been shown by the military and the national courts which have held hundreds of trials, a selection from which is contained in these volumes.  The presence of neutral judges has been shown to be not essential to maintain a high standard of impartiality and this was in fact fortunate under the circumstances, because neutral judges were in fact not available. Nor had the accused any legal right to object to being tried by such courts ; all the accused were entitled to was a fair trial and that they got. Also, as I have stated, the types of courts employed were those traditionally recognised by International Law as competent for war crime trials. The necessity of a fair trial was universally insisted upon by the Allies, and indeed was traditional in this type of case. In Reports contained in Volumes V and VI will be found instances in which it has been held that the denial of a fair

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trial was a war crime. There had been at a certain stage a strong effort in certain Allied quarters to dispense with a trial even in the case of the Major Criminals ; it was said that was unnecessary because their crimes were notorious to all the world. It would be enough, so it was said, to have a solemn arraignment, stating their crimes and then ordering their executions.  That idea was strongly pressed but was successfully resisted as contrary to International Law. So to proceed would have been to substitute an act of power for the execution of impartial justice demonstrated by an open trial in the face of all the world. Justice was done and was seen to be done.  By any other procedure the whole impressiveness of the punishment of war crimes would have been prejudiced and indeed completely lost. Incidentally, the advocates of the theory that would dispense with trials do generally accept that criminals such as the major criminals deserved their punishment and were justly punished. The only objection then was that the trial was unnecessary. They should, it is said, have been put to death without trial.  The effect would have been paradoxical.

As to jurisdiction the traditional rule is that a Military Court, whether national or international, derives its jurisdiction over war crimes from the bare fact that the person charged is within the custody of the Court ; his nationality, the place where the offence was committed, the nationality of the victims are not generally material. This has been sometimes described as universality of jurisdiction as being contrary to the general rule that courts have a jurisdiction limited to the national territory or to the nationality of the injured person. In certain trials dealt with in these Reports, the accused came from several different nations and so also did the victims, and in some trials the crimes were committed on the High Seas or in allied or enemy countries. Where it was in Allied national courts that war crimes were tried, jurisdiction was defined by the national law under which they proceeded. This will be seen by consulting the constituent documents conferring jurisdiction in the various annexes to the volumes. The rules of evidence and the range of punishments will also be found there. The same may be said of the various Charters, Commissions or Warrants under which the Military Courts acted. By International Law the penalty for a war crime is death, subject however to the court imposing a lesser sentence.  

As these volumes are intended to form a Case Book of War Crimes, what needs to be done is to state briefly and succinctly the basic and most general rules of this branch of law so that the reader of a particular Report may have before him the setting, or background, or surrounding circumstances (whichever simile is preferred), of law or procedure of the particular trial.  Volume XV, which Mr. Brand has prepared, will, I think, be found to satisfy this requirement.

Certain differences may be noted in the trials reported. In some detailed and reasoned judgments are delivered, in others that feature is absent.  Thus in the United States Military Commission trials, the reporter is compelled to extract from what happened at the trial the grounds of law on which the Court proceeded : there is almost invariably no reasoned judgment.

The same is largely true of the British Military trials, subject to this difference, that in them a Judge Advocate usually gives his reading of the  facts and law to the court. This furnishes some clue to the reasons for the decision. In the national courts the practice varies. In the Norwegian

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and Netherlands Courts there are reasoned judgments, and other European Allies also adopt their ordinary forms of declaring their judgments. In the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo, a very elaborate method of stating the grounds both of fact and law for the decision has been adopted. These latter trials lie outside the general scope of these Reports.   The judgments are used by way of persuasive precedents only on specific points. But there is a very important series of trials held in Nuremberg after and as supplementary to the International Military trial, called the Subsequent Proceedings. These trials were initiated and conducted by and under the United States Government which provided administrative machinery, prosecutors and judges : the Tribunals involved were described as United States Military Tribunals. In these trials full judgments on fact and law were delivered. The Reports accordingly are fuller and more detailed than is possible where the reporter can only do the best he can with less satisfactory materials. International lawyers will not hesitate to express their appreciation of the help which these trials, conducted by the United States with General Telford Taylor as Chief Prosecutor, have given in the elucidation of the law.  They will be indispensable to the student of this branch of law, even though he may criticise particular passages contained in them.

I may here observe that Mr. George Brand, in his valuable notes on most of the Subsequent Proceedings Cases, among other trials, has sought to elucidate what was decided, without criticising. I apologise for departing from that salutary rule in one case, that of the “ Hostages “, in which I have ventured to express some criticism of the legality under International Law of the killing of hostages. That was one of the Subsequent Proceedings and I wish to make clear that it in no way detracts from my great respect for the valuable labours in the cause of International Law of the Judges, not only in that one but in all the Subsequent Proceedings.

I must, I think, say something of the sources of the International Law of War. The Common Lawyer will be puzzled by the absence of previous Law Reports in which he finds his precedents, and also by the relative absence of Legislative Acts in which a great deal of his law is found. Perhaps this comparative absence of legislation will seem almost more grievous to the civil lawyer who finds the great part of his law in Codes. It may be that after this last war (I should like to picture it as the “ last ” in the history of the future but I dare not do so) the decisions and rulings of the law of war recorded in these and other volumes, will provide more material. The Common Lawyer will be able to study and apply the precedents on which he relies so much, and so indeed will those lawyers who practise under a codified system of law, who have generally, I believe, availed themselves of the persuasive help of earlier decisions which they find collected in annotations to the codes. In either case, the law of war will be lifted from an area of generality and be able by analysis and synthesis to formulate more specific rules. This will have been one result of the great campaign of war crime punishment which has followed the war. But. even before this happened, there was certain material of a more or less tangible character.  Apart from evidence of custom and practice there were books of authority like Grotius and Vattel in earlier days. These were books of authenticity comparable to Coke or Blackstone in Anglo-American law. There were also certain international agreements, conventions or treaties which approximate

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 in their importance to Legislative Acts, though of comparatively recent date.  Of these the Hague Conventions on the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners are of supreme importance. It is easy with all the experience of recent years to point to defects in the Hague Conventions but they marked great advance in the humanization of war, both as between the actual military forces and also in the protection of the civilians. The future development of military operations is difficult to forecast today. The rules of law embodied in these Conventions have been tested in World War II which is ended. These Conventions may well be supplemented and revised, but their value cannot be overstated. They and the like are the nearest approach to legislation possible in the present state of international relations.

It would be wrong to look at any single document as constituting the source of the laws of war. The development of that branch of international law has had a long history and a great many traditional and customary rules have sprung up and have been followed, more or less, in regard to these questions. The time has, I hope, now come or is approaching, when it will be possible to show a homogeneous and scientific body of law, and that will have to be done without the aid of the legislature until there is a federated parliament of the world. Meantime that want is, to a large extent, filled by the system of international conventions representing all the civilised nations of the world who meet together to draw up a body of rules. These have the force of law in the same way as the law promulgated by a State has within its Courts. Their efficacy and force depends on the fact that they are recognised, accepted and agreed to by the various nations. In the war recently ended, it is striking to observe to what extent a code of law such as the provisions of the Geneva Conventions on Prisoners of War has been respected, at least in principle, though not always in fact. It would be wrong to treat these instruments merely as agreements between the various nations who were represented at the Conferences. For instance, the Hague Convention enables any assenting party to denounce it, but the true force of these Conventions in these days is that they represent a general consensus, in regard to the laws of war and these laws are binding upon belligerents whether they were originally parties or not, and whether, though originally parties, they have or have not denounced it.

The purpose of the Hague Convention can be inferred from the terms of the Convention itself. The Convention contains a number of specific regulations which, as the Convention says, have been inspired by the desire to diminish the evils of war so far as legitimate military requirements permit, and to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents in their mutual relations and their relations with the inhabitants. That latter element, as we now see, has been of supreme importance, and that will be seen in the cases reported in these volumes. The Hague Convention goes on to say that it has not been found possible at present to concert stipulations covering all the circumstances which arose in practice, but on the other hand, the Parties to it do not intend that unforeseen cases should, in default of written agreement, be left to the arbitrary opinion of military commanders. The Convention then proceeds to state a wider principle in the famous language of the Belgian Delegate Mertens :

“ Until a more complete code of the laws of war can be drawn up, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in  

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cases not covered by the rules adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and governance of the principles of the law of nations, derived from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and from the dictates of the public conscience.”

These provisions are the key note of these particular Regulations. They do not contain a list of war crimes, but they particularise a great many of them, leaving the remainder to the governing effect of that sovereign clause which, I think, does really in a few words state the whole animating and motivating principle of the law of war, and indeed of all law, because the object of all law is to secure as far as possible in the mutual relations of the human beings concerned the rule of law and of justice and of humanity.  The language of the clause has sometimes been described as embodying the law of nature or natural law. That expression has been used during so many centuries from the days of the Romans and in so many different connotations and also has been invoked for the purposes of maintaining so many evil and disastrous practices and rules, that its use may perhaps be better abandoned. In truth and in fact, the true view of the law of nature has been the law which aims, however imperfectly, at giving effect to the sense of justice and of right and wrong and which is naturally inherent in all human beings except only the abandoned and vicious. The reader of this volume will not fail to reflect on the number of important principles which still need to be defined. I may note as an instance the question of the legality of the resistance movement on the part of a population unjustly invaded and terrorised by an aggressive nation. Another illustration is afforded by naval warfare.

Before I leave the Preamble to this Code, I may emphasise that the protection of the inhabitants of occupied territory is of primary importance in the modern law of war. It will be seen from the cases in these volumes that a very considerable proportion of the cases protect the interests of the inhabitants of territories which were either occupied or were the scene of belligerent operations. It is impossible to secure that the innocent inhabitants of such places can be entirely removed from the dangers and the destruction and the fatalities which are inevitable in such a situation, but the whole object of this part of the Hague Convention and other similar humanitarian instruments is, as they state, to diminish the evils of war so far as military requirements permit and that may be traced in the present Hague and Geneva Conventions and also in the cases which have been decided by the courts. It may be noted that the Hague Convention in particular had definitely a practical object. It required those who signed it or acceded to it to issue instructions to their armed land forces in conformity with the regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land, which are annexed to the Convention. The result of the Convention has been that most important military nations have prepared manuals of military law which they have issued to their forces. These manuals are not authoritative sources of law in any sense, and some of the provisions contained in them have been subject to very proper criticism and amendment, but they are useful for purposes of reference and criticism and to some extent they may serve as evidence of the actual practices of nations, which is part of the material on which the customary law of war is based, along with the writings

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 of qualified authors. The decisions of courts are also of great value in defining the law of war. Hence the importance of these Reports.

The Hague Convention itself does not contain a list of war crimes. Such a list will be found in the Report of the Commission of Responsibilities of 1919, a list which is not comprehensive. Nor did the United Nations War Crimes Commission pretend to formulate a comprehensive list, but they did promulgate a list of war crimes for the purpose of guiding the Commission in its fact-finding activities. That provisional list, if I may call it so, was based on the report and recommendation of the Commission of Responsibilities, a document of very great value, and it was added to by the War Crimes Commission as a result of its experience and of the problems which came before it.

Mr. Brand, the Editor of this series of reports and the author of the present volume, has devoted section VI of the volume to a treatment of the types of offences which have been recognised. A list of these will be found in his table of contents under the heading “ Types of Offences “. I should like particularly to refer to No. 6 of that list, under sub-heading B, which shows how the category of war crimes has over-flown the limits of offences committed during actual combat or offences committed against prisoners of war. The long list which is to be found in Item 6 are all offences committed against inhabitants of occupied territories, and there is no doubt at all, if one studies the history of war crimes during the last war, of the terrible character of these offences and the enormous scale on which they were committed by the Axis forces. It will be noticed that in some of these offences the object is the terrorism of civilians, their ill-treatment in various ways, often most atrocious, and the exploitation of human labour, often called slave labour, which was forced in the sense that inhabitants were seized and compelled to work for the Axis powers and for that purpose taken away from their homes which, in a vast number of cases, they never saw again. Some categories may seem novel but tragic and terrible experiences justify them.

There are some very striking instances of war crimes for which the reader must be referred to Mr. Brand’s Section VI, sub-section B, which is based on actual decisions as reported in previous volumes. It is perhaps now a truism, but when I look at this list, and think of all the instances of each one of these crimes that come into my mind, I cannot help saying that so deliberate and so widespread and atrocious a system of inflicting human misery has never been known in the course of the world. Apart from these particular crimes, there are the crimes which Mr. Brand refers to under sub-headings C and D, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.  Crimes against humanity overlap to some extent war crimes generally, but the scope of the category of crimes against humanity has been limited by the requirements that to be punishable they should be carried out on a widespread scale and under governmental organisation, and apparently that they should have the particular object of political, racial or religious persecution.

Sub-section D contains a further category, crimes against peace. That category is based upon the effect of the Kellog-Briand Pact, or the Pact of Paris, which was a formal and solemn treaty entered into by practically all

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the civilised nations of the world. Its essence is that those who are accused are charged with initiating or bringing about or waging an unjust or aggressive war. That conception has been much attacked but the charge has received effect from the important International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East at Tokyo.  Its moral rightness is obvious because there can be no greater crime than the bringing about of a war with all its inevitable evils, unimaginable in extent.  It is a crime, however, which deals primarily with initiation and waging of war as a matter of policy, which indeed, is the language of the prohibitive section, and the crime can usually only be committed by those persons who are able to determine the policy which causes the war. A further illustration of the crime has been given since I first wrote these words by the judgment in the Ministries Case, the last of the Nuremberg Subsequent Proceedings.  

In the case of the last Great War there was, for a number of reasons, no difficulty in determining who were the policy makers. The material before the courts clearly showed that their purpose was aggression and that the war could not be justified on any legitimate ground such as self defence.  That crime, if properly defined, can be charged against those who were called in the two trials I have mentioned, the “ major war criminals ” and others who, from their position and power were able to commit that particular offence which could not be charged against subordinate agents or instruments.  

Membership of criminal organisations is a rather special piece of machinery which is devised to deal with the obvious difficulty of bringing within the range of punishment the various individuals who have taken part in the operations of associations or organisations, the object of which was the commission of war crimes.

I need not repeat what has so often been emphasised that to construct a system of common or customary law must necessarily involve a system of law reporting. The failure to appreciate the existence, character or scope of the law of war has almost entirely resulted from the absence of adequate reporting of decisions taken regarding acts coming under the law of war.  It may be hoped that with the materials now available, it may be possible to evolve a homogeneous, scientific and constructive body of law though there is still no legislature to contribute to that result. That, however, is for the future.

I ought earlier to have observed that the principle of individual responsibility has until recently been regarded as a heresy in some quarters, instead of as being something which was obviously essential to any system of penal law. It has often been noted that the Hague Conventions do not contain any reference to personal responsibility in respect of war crimes, but all the same, as was pointed out by the Supreme Court of the United States, offenders against the laws of war have been punished. The principle of individual responsibility is a necessary condition of the establishment of a system of law ; what the law does is to define that responsibility. It is not content with the formulation of moral rules. It postulates personal sanctions. The Hague Convention, though it speaks of the responsibility of nations to make compensation for breaches of the Regulations, does not mention the personal responsibility of those guilty of breaches, but the same answer applies to such an objection, and that is that the punishment of war

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criminals for breach of the rules of war has been recognised by the practice of nations and is part of the traditional law. For that, I may again refer to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. The responsibility of fixing responsibility on particular agents is very noticeable.  

Of course, I need not observe that that principle runs right through the series of trials which are reported in these volumes. I was, in fact, merely countering the conceivable though gratuitous and unfounded objection that, at least up to the time of the first World War, no such personal or individual responsibility was ever recognised in these matters ; it was recognised for instance in the Commission of Responsibilities, and also in the cases mentioned by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Yamashita case which has already been referred to in this Foreward, in particular may be noted cases where the offence was not a common law crime-as most of the war offences are-according to the normal rule of civilised people, but was only a crime in the particular area of military law, for instance the case of spying.

As was made clear at the outset, the trials reported in these volumes have been a selection of those of which records are in the possession of the United Nations War Crimes Commission. Only those of legal interest have been so selected for reporting, though most of those selected have also often been of importance in the history of the war. I may mention here some of the relevant figures relating to this process of selection :  

No. of Trial Records Received No. of Trial Records Reported Upon
809 United States 28
524 British 27
256 Australian 5
254 French 11
30 Netherlands 7
24 Polish 4
9 Norwegian 5
4 Canadian 1
1 Chinese 1

In addition, further trials which were not reported have been cited in either Volumes I-XIV, or in the present volume :

United States : 29  
British : 17  
Australian : 19  
French : 17  
Netherlands : 5  
Norwegian : 2  
Polish : 1  
Canadian : 1  
Greek : 1

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It was never intended to report in these volumes the trials held by the International Military Tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo since it was felt that these trials would in any case be thoroughly discussed in the legal press and elsewhere and would form the subject of special reports, this has not, however, excluded reference to the judgments delivered in these trials where a quotation from the judgment has been useful in commenting upon the trials reported in these volumes. It will be freely admitted that the latter trials were not assured of general widespread treatment in the same way as those held before the two International Military Tribunals.  

It will be observed that not all the countries whose courts have conducted war crime trials in recent years, nor all members of the Commission, are represented in the selection of trials reported in these volumes. The aim has been to make the series as internationally representative as was possible, but the achievement of this purpose has always depended upon and been limited by the transcripts actually submitted by various governments. All members of the Commission were invited to forward records of their trials, but not all did so for various reasons, and this lack of records explains the absence from these volumes of reports of trials held by the courts of certain countries. It may be added that where a country has not forwarded transcripts of court proceedings but has furnished the Commission with the texts of applicable war crimes laws, quotations from these laws have been included, wherever possible, in the general commentaries contained in previous volumes, and in the present volume.

The aim has been to derive from the records in the possession of the Commission all material containing any guidance for the building up of a jurisprudence of war crimes law, and it is felt that with three exceptions this aim has largely been achieved. The late arrival of the judgment in the Tokyo trial has caused one of these exceptions, and the late delivery of judgment in the Ministries case a second. The third concerns the day-to-day proceedings of the trials held before the United States Military Tribunals in Nuremberg. As is explained on page ix of Volume X, the reports which have been contained in these volumes on the Subsequent Proceedings trials have been based upon a study of the indictments and judgments in the respective trials and the speeches and briefs of prosecuting and defending counsel, but the time limitations, within which the Trust under which the reporting has been carried out has operated, have prevented a complete study of the rulings on procedural matters given in the course of these trials. I understand, however, that a study of these rulings on matters of procedure is contemplated by a United States lawyer who has had personal experience of these trials.

WRIGHT. [Lord, or Durley]

London, March, 1949.  

Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
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S D Stein
 
Faculty of Economics and Social Science