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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: 20 October 2021

Was He Guilty?

Was He Guilty?

(p.293) 18 Was He Guilty?
The Trial of the Kaiser

William A. Schabas

Oxford University Press

The trial might well have taken place were it not for a variety of unforeseen circumstances. For example, the Dutch might have agreed to the Kaiser’s surrender and the Kaiser might even have agreed to the trial. Other options would have been a trial in absentia or a trial in the Netherlands itself. Had a trial been held, the enigmatic charge of an ‘offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties’ would have required interpretation. Many considered that it would have covered not only violations of the laws of war within the conflict, but also the launching of the aggressive war. This would have necessitated proof that Germany was actually responsible for starting the war, and a possible inquiry into the conduct of the European Powers over several years prior to 1914, something for which the British and the French had little enthusiasm.

Keywords:   surrender, in absentia trial, prosecution, aggression, international criminal tribunal, extradition, retroactivity

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