CYIL vol. 12 (2021)

CYIL 12 (2021) THE NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES AS THE BASIS OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL Law was present in several separated moments in history; however, it was the Nuremberg trial and Judgment that gave birth to international criminal law with its subsequent viable development. The Nuremberg principles formulated by the ILC are a summary of the most important principles that changed the perception and application of international legal norms regarding an individual. Although the situation and especially the establishing document of the Nuremberg trial was specific, and it indeed influenced the very ability of the whole process to handle the top surviving defendants of the Nazi regime, the main essence, aim, and purpose of international criminal justice has remained the same. Individuals, being perpetrators of accomplices, are responsible for committing a crime under international law, even though it is not punishable under national law, regardless of their official status or subordinate position. Nevertheless, even in cases of the most heinous crimes, they still have the right to a fair trial. Following the historical development and interplay of various interests of international actors, this approach has been broken down into more detailed and sometimes even different approaches to the international criminal justice system. It is apprehended this way in the area of fair trial requirements and vis-à-vis several forms of responsibility, and especially perceived so in a division of responsibility of an individual into its substantive and procedural parts, i.e. immunity. Nevertheless, despite several efforts, no further crimes under international law that are judicially prosecutable have been added to the list that was acceptable for states after WWII (genocide being an exception because of the missing definition at the time of Nuremberg where it was in a way covered by crimes against humanity). 5. Conclusion As it was presented during the Nuremberg Forum 2018, the golden moment of the history of the Rome Statute adoption could not be repeated today. 117 Neither could the Nuremberg trial. Both were children of world war. 118 It is submitted that it is too high a price to be paid to reach another developmental milestone. Nevertheless, there is another way to work on the development of international criminal law, and that is to never give up prosecution of perpetrators of crimes under international law. 119

117 HEINZE, A., The 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute. A review essay about the Nuremberg Forum 2018, Criminal Law Forum , 2018. Available at, last accessed at 22 April 2021.

118 Ibid . 119 Ibid .


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