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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: 27 July 2021

Prosecuting Crimes against Peace

Prosecuting Crimes against Peace

(p.121) 9 Prosecuting Crimes against Peace
The Trial of the Kaiser

William A. Schabas

Oxford University Press

Within the Allied countries, there is near unanimous support for the view that Germany, led by the Kaiser, started the war. International law is at a turning point, with a growing willingness to consider that provoking a war of aggression is not only contrary to international law, but also a crime for which individuals can be punished. Sessions of the Commission on Responsibilities are the first forum for debates about this question. The British and the French insist upon progressive development of the law, evoking a ‘new justice’, while the Americans insist that new rules cannot be applied retroactively. Compromise is reached on this point with a recommendation by the Commission against prosecution of the Kaiser for starting the war, but at the same time a declaration condemning his conduct.

Keywords:   aggression, crimes against peace, Commission on Responsibilities, war crimes, Robert Lansing, Ernest Pollock, neutrality, Ferdinand Larnaude

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