Excerpts from the Nuremberg Principles
Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.
The fact that a person acted in pursuant to orders from his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity are punishable as crimes under international law.
a. Crimes against peace:
- Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances.
- Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (1).
Complicity in the commission of these crimes is itself a crime under international law. For only in the protection of fundamental human rights by international or world law can war between states be averted as the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states.Return to Reference section