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The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957From Foe to Friend$
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Dean Aszkielowicz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390724

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390724.001.0001

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Building a Case against the War Criminals

Building a Case against the War Criminals

Law and Investigation

(p.34) 2 Building a Case against the War Criminals
The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957

Dean Aszkielowicz

Hong Kong University Press

Long before the Second World War ended, the Allies were planning to prosecute Axis war criminals, including both those in positions of leadership and the perpetrators of individual crimes. There was no standing war crimes court at the end of the Second World War, however, and the post-war trials were a watershed in international law. For the trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo, Allied planners drew on the development of international humanitarian law and international agreements signed by the combatants over the decades preceding the war. The vast majority of war criminals who were prosecuted did not face the court at Nuremberg or Tokyo: they appeared before national military tribunals which were conducted according to each prosecuting country’s war crimes law. The Australian War Crimes Act passed through the parliament in October 1945, shortly before trials began.

Keywords:   War crimes law, Australian war crimes law, Investigation

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