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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.139) 6 Evidence
The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law

Kevin Jon Heller

Oxford University Press

The Nuremberg Military Tribunals derived their rules of evidence from three sources: Article VII of Ordinance No. 7; the evidentiary provisions of the Uniform Rules of Procedure, which Tribunal I drafted and adopted in the Medical case; and the ‘fundamental principles of justice which have been accepted and adopted by civilized nations generally’. This chapter discusses the evidentiary issues that the tribunals addressed. Section 1 discusses two threshold issues, admissibility and the standard of proof. Section 2 deals with testimonial evidence, including the tribunals' controversial practice of taking evidence via commissioners. Section 3 focuses on documentary evidence, particularly the widespread use of affidavits in lieu of live testimony. Section 4 examines how the tribunals applied the doctrines of res judicata and judicial notice and dealt with the decisions of their predecessors.

Keywords:   evidence, Uniform Rules of Procedure, admissibility, standard of proof, testimonial evidence, commissioners, documentary evidence, affidavits, res judicata, judicial notice

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