Chapter

From Nuremberg to The Hague*

Theodor Meron

in War Crimes Law Comes of Age

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268567.003.0010
From Nuremberg to The Hague*

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This chapter compares the two ad hoc Tribunals established by the Security Council to Nuremberg. Nuremberg was the first multinational criminal tribunal. Despite certain shortcomings of due process rules, Nuremberg was neither arbitrary nor unjust. The two ad hoc Tribunals are the first truly international criminal courts, having been established by the United Nations Security Council and also through the approval of the budget and the election of the judges by the most representative organ of the United Nations, the General Assembly. The statutes of the ad hoc Tribunals are the epitome of the most advanced United Nations human rights standards. The statutes, the judges, and the prosecution are extremely sensitive to due process rights of the accused. There are obvious differences between Nuremberg and the new Tribunals. In Germany, the Allies had full police powers, almost sovereign authority, and most defendants were to be found within the territories controlled by the Allies. The ad hoc Tribunals only have the still largely untested powers delegated from Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

Keywords: criminal tribunals; ad hoc; United Nations; Security Council; human rights; international law

Chapter.  2415 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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