searching Humanities & Social Sciences Collection Change databases

Image of Publication

  • Peer Reviewed
  • Citation only


about this publication

The Australian Trials of Class B and C Japanese War Crime Suspects, 1945-51

Australian International Law Journal
Volume 16 (2009)

Abstract: This article examines the legal issues arising from the Australian trials of Class B and C Japanese war crime suspects that took place between 1945 and 1951, with a view to discerning the various considerations at play in the question of 'victors' justice'. It begins by canvassing the background of the Australian trials, and then turns to consider the procedural and substantive legal issues that surfaced. It is shown that, in many respects, the Australian trials did not meet the international standards of justice that we have become accustomed to today - mainly due to the inadequacies of the war crimes legislation in place at the time. Nevertheless, it is concluded that the 'victors' justice' question unhelpfully frames these inadequacies as ones motivated by revenge, which does not accord with the conduct, for the most part, of the officers of the military tribunal, and the manner in which they interpreted and applied the war crimes legislation and legal precedent. Instead, this article argues in favour of a more beneficial approach to drawing upon the experiences of the Australian trials, one that goes beyond the confines of the assumptions inherent in the question of 'victors' justice'.

To cite this article: Okada, Emmi. The Australian Trials of Class B and C Japanese War Crime Suspects, 1945-51 [online]. Australian International Law Journal, Vol. 16, 2009: [47]-80. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=562176357445173;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1325-5029. [cited 01 May 16].

Personal Author: Okada, Emmi; Source: Australian International Law Journal, Vol. 16, 2009: [47]-80 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1325-5029 Subject: Criminal law; War crimes; Trials; Relations; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Judge’s Associate, Supreme Court of Western Australia

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection