|Parent||Remarks to Court on the motion attacking the jurisdiction of the Tribunal|
|Collection||Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records|
|Folder||General Reports and Memoranda from June 1946|
|Repository||University of Virginia Law Library|
To hold otherwise would be to admit that although the accused are guilty of the criminal acts asserted in this Indictment we are unable to punish them because their predecessors remained unpunished in the past. This type of false legalistic logic would lead us into the conclusion that we must wait for some undetermined period of time in the future when all nations in some type of undefined conclave shall set up a criminal code and the rules and regulations for the same and establish courts to carry out the clear mandates of precepts as old as the hills. It is therefore suggested that in the meantime, paying homage to these false legal concepts, all of the nations of the world must remain idly quiescent awaiting destruction, utterly powerless to exert the normal preventive influences to avoid such future occurrences, and that in so doing we discard the domestic practices in every civilized nation which exert the normal preventive influences, without which we could not forestall such activities, and if which were observed no nation could sustain organized society. In any fair analysis of the concept of justice, this reaches the highest peak of absurdity. For it denies the fundamentals of justice itself. It asks the powerful peace loving surviving nations of the world to admit their utter impotency to protect future generations. These are not retributive measures – definitely no – for we cannot bring the dead back to life. Quite the contrary, they are entirely preventive in their purpose. They have for their wholesome object the taking of all proper and just steps to prevent the future destruction of organized society itself. That is the basis of the law upon which we rest our case.