World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Rule of law has replaced Rule of the stronger

The rule of law has replaced the rule of the stronger

Since the Nuremberg Trials crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity have been punishable under international law. These trials laid the foundation for the development of an international judiciary system.

Speaking at a conference in Berlin on November 21 entitled "The Nuremberg Trials 60 Years On - Lessons for the Future" Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries noted that at the Nuremberg Trials, which began on November 20, 1945, government leaders were for the first time held accountable for crimes they committed and no longer able to hide behind the mask of immunity.

As a result of the trial against major war criminals in the Nazi leadership as well as twelve further trials against a variety of other governmental, military, industrial, and professional leaders, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity became an integral part of international law.

Civil wars subject to international law

Zypries observed that the end of the Cold War and East-West confrontation made it possible to establish international tribunals for the purpose of prosecuting crimes committed during the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, thus placing civil wars under the rules of international law.

Zypries remarked that the work being done by the International Criminal Court in The Hague since March 2003 is proof that the rule of law has replaced the rule of the stronger in international judicial matters.

International Criminal Court important for the future

Zypries indicated that as a result of the introduction of the International Criminal Code violations of international criminal law have become punishable offenses in Germany regardless of where they are committed. This does not mean that every violation of international law will be dealt with by a German court. What this does do, however, is create a backup option that will help keep perpetrators from getting away with their crimes. If the country with primary jurisdiction is not willing or able to prosecute the crimes in question, the perpetrators could be tried before a German court.

Zypries went on to say that for the acceptance of international criminal law it is indispensable that it not be dismissed as 'victors' justice'. She added that it is of preeminent importance that all members of the international community, including the major powers, ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news