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The Trial of the Kaiser$
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William A. Schabas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833857

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833857.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

The Council of Virgins

The Council of Virgins

(p.174) 12 The Council of Virgins
The Trial of the Kaiser

William A. Schabas

Oxford University Press

All of the serious decision-making at the Peace Conference fell to four leaders, Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Orlando. Known semi-officially as the Council of Four, they were sometimes called the ‘Council of Virgins’. Meeting in April 1919, they essentially discarded the recommendations of the Commission on Responsibilities. Lloyd George and Clemenceau returned to the idea of prosecuting the Kaiser for starting the war. After lengthy debate, Wilson abandoned US opposition to trial and on his own drafted a paragraph for the treaty. The new text that he prepared provided for an international tribunal that would be authorised to try Kaiser Wilhelm for a ‘supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties’, although it insisted that this was not to be viewed as a criminal offence.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, International Criminal Court, international morality, sanctity of treaties, Commission on Responsibilities, Council of Four

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