The role of international and national courts and tribunals
- Douglas GuilfoyleDouglas GuilfoyleAssociate Professor of Law, Monash University
This chapter offers a brief historical introduction to the rise of individual accountability for international crimes. It first outlines the history of war crimes prosecutions prior to the Nuremberg Trials. It then introduces the origins of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT), the conduct of the trial of the major war criminals, the legal controversies involved, and other post World War II proceedings. The remainder of the chapter provides an overview of national prosecutions after 1945 and the complexities involved in drafting national legislation allowing such prosecutions; examines the ‘rebirth’ of international criminal tribunals in the 1990s and early 2000s; and steps back to briefly survey the question of what international criminal law is for or what goals it is intended to serve.