A review essay on Transcultural Justice at the Tokyo Tribunal: The Allied Struggle for Justice, 1946-48, ed. Kerstin von Lingen (Leiden: Brill, 2018).
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), or the Tokyo Trial as it is more widely known, has since its very inception in May 1946 been the country cousin to the more famous, and most scholars would argue more consequential, Nuremburg Trial. Writing in Foreign Affairs in January 1947, Henry L. Stimson, who had served as President Roosevelt’s Secretary of War between 1940-45, was unequivocal in his assessment of the Nuremberg Trial as “a landmark in the history of international law.” Sitting in judgment on the war criminals who had taken Nazi Germany and indeed the world to the brink of destruction, the judges representing the US, USSR, Britain, and France succeeded in advancing a number of principles that would become critical in shaping the international law around war crimes, wars of aggression, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The movement that would in time lead to the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court arose out of the deliberations at Nuremberg.Continue reading