The Australian prosecutions were a difficult balance of several competing imperatives. The government, military, legal professionals and the public all, on balance, called for trials that were fair and upheld the highest standards of Western justice. The prosecutions needed to be effective though, and it was thought that justice out to be carried out swiftly. To maintain this balance, the Australian trials featured procedures that were uncommon in civilian courts and even in pre-war military courts. Cases could be built on affidavit evidence only, and accused war criminals could not avoid a guilty conviction by blaming their crimes on the military chain of command.
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