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Parent Remarks to Court on the motion attacking the jurisdiction of the Tribunal
Date June 1946
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 3
Folder General Reports and Memoranda from June 1946
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
Today we are given solemn warning that we are distinctly at the cross-roads. One road leads towards the peace and security of mankind, and the other leads towards its definite destruction. We must herein decide on which of these two roads we shall pass. We must decide whether or not wars of aggression and wars in violation of treaties are crimes or whether they are lawful. We must of course become realistic and determine whether those who are responsible for such aggressive acts of war and those who are responsible for wars in violation of treaties are criminals and will be punished, or whether they stand beyond the pale of all law. In the making of that decision it is more than likely that we will decide whether or not we are to continue to exist as human beings on this earth at all. With this challenge, it is of small moment to consider whether aggressive warfares in the past have been tolerated in a sense or whether the responsible individuals for bringing them into being have remained punished or unpunished. Surely the acts speak for themselves, and it is shallow, untenable, legal concept to assert that a failure of mankind to punish those who planned, initiated and waged wars of aggression in the past constitutes a binding legal precept preventing the punishment of those who have been guilty of these transgressions in the present.