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The Nuremberg and Tokyo Precedents

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Chapter Summary

When establishing the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in 1993, from a proceedings perspective, the only reference for the Security Council was the Nuremberg and Tokyo proceedings. The Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals were military tribunals differing in several aspects from civil justice systems. The judicial standards applied by the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals were certainly above the minimum standards applicable at that time. In accordance with the "military" nature of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, the trials were to be confined to expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges, to prevent unreasonable delay, to rule out irrelevant issues and statements, and to deal summarily with any contumacy by the accused or their counsels. The very flexible rules of procedure and evidence governing the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, had implications on fairness particularly in the field of evidentiary rulings.

Keywords: Former Yugoslavia; International Criminal Tribunal; military tribunals; Nuremberg proceedings; Tokyo proceedings



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