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The Nuremberg Principles: The Contemporary Challenges

The Nuremberg Principles conference brings together lawyers, historians, theologians, and human rights activists worldwide to discuss the applicability of the Nuremberg Principles in protecting human dignity, promoting human rights, and enforcing international criminal law. John D. Altenburg, Major General (ret.), will serve as moderator for a panel titled "Victor's Justice – the U.S. and International Criminal Law 75 Years Since Nuremberg: Continuity or Change?" from 1:00pm - 1:40pm.

Discussions will cover the following:
Juxtaposed with the enormity and depravity of Nazi criminality and moral ambiguities, the Nuremberg trials functioned to prove guilt for such atrocities of war crimes. Still, selective justice and the legality and thus legitimacy of the Nuremberg proceedings were substantive at the time and are today matters of ongoing scholarly debate. Where does the U.S. stand in the case of Justice for victims of international war crime abuses? U.S. has actively supported the prosecution of war crimes in Bosnia and Rwanda and by I.C.T.Y. and I.C.T.R. - these were Nuremberg-modelled ad hoc tribunals. Conversely, the U.S., under President Trump, imposed sanctions (now withdrawn under President Biden) on the International Criminal Court and its international civil servants charged with upholding human rights and humanitarian law in their investigation and potential prosecution of U.S. personnel for possible war crimes in Afghanistan. Then in stark contrast, The Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act became law at the start of this year to strengthen the efforts to ensure Justice and accountability by enabling the Department of Justice to prosecute alleged war criminals who are found in the United States, regardless of the location of the crime and the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. Does the USA face a dilemma demonstrated by a pattern of choosing alleged war crimes to prosecute over the last 75 years, or will there be changes?