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Criminal Organizations

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Chapter Summary

The concept of criminal organizations was first proposed in the preparatory work leading up to the 1945 London Conference on Military Trials. This chapter explores the criminal organizations model, essentially a means of accountability for organizational crime through the creation of an offense of membership. The discussion of the criminal organizations concept has often indicated that it serves a purpose that is more than simple criminal accountability. Bernays envisaged that a trial of organizations would establish the extent of "Nazi doctrine and policy", while the French judge on the Nuremberg bench viewed it as having some sort of cathartic effect. The trials of individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes necessarily defer to the broader context in which those crimes were committed and often indicate where further moral, political, or even criminal responsibility may lie.

Keywords: 1945 London Conference; criminal organizations; military trials; Nazi doctrine; Nuremberg bench



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