A Nuremberg Legacy: The Crime of Aggression


In 1945, with the world still reeling from World War II, the trial of the major German war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg began. Nuremberg prosecutors, myself included, tried and convicted 161 of the defendants in the IMT and Subsequent Nuremberg Trials for crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. About a half century later, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was given jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. The progress, however, has been slow.

The ICC is a prototype, and it is just beginning. Just as the first computer occupied most of a room and now you carry it in your pocket, so it will be for international criminal law. If you believe in the rule of law as I do, then you must seek to find a way to try to stop this horrible thing called war. We must continue to build on the Nuremberg legacy and the progress of the ICC to strengthen the rule of law through a more effective and robust international criminal legal system.


Nuremberg Trials, IMT, International Military Tribunal, World War II, Germany, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression, International Criminal Court, ICC, genocide, international criminal law, Nazis



Benjamin B. Ferencz (Nuremberg International Military Tribunal)



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