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The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law$
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Kevin Jon Heller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554317.001.0001

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(p.369) 16 Legacy
The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law

Kevin Jon Heller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the legacy of the NMTs. It begins by assessing whether the tribunals can be considered a success in terms of their stated goals, most notably retribution, promoting democracy in Germany, and creating a historical record. It concludes that the scorecard is mixed: although the retributive and documentary goals were achieved, the didactic goal was a spectacular failure. Finally, it examines the influence that the NMT judgments have had on international criminal law. It argues that although modern courts and tribunals often misunderstand the tribunals' jurisprudence, in general that jurisprudence has had an important and salutary effect on modern doctrine.

Keywords:   retribution, de-Nazification, democratization, re-education, historical record, expressive value, international criminal law

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