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Judge Theodor Meron

President Theodor Meron
Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

Biography Biography in PDF

Criminal Law and Procedure
International Criminal Justice
Reflections on the Prosecution of
War Crimes by International Tribunals:
A Historical Perspective
In this lecture, Judge Meron discusses the dramatic transformation that took place in international humanitarian and international criminal law since, mainly, the Nuremberg trials. He focuses on prosecutions of crimes against humanity and war crimes and discusses the new centrality of gender related crimes, due process and human rights in prosecutions before the modern war crimes tribunals.

Video | Audio
(1 hour 5 minutes)

The Mechanism: A New Model of International Criminal Tribunal

Video | Audio
(39 minutes)
Criminal Law and Procedure
International Criminal Justice
Reflections on the Prosecution of War Crimes by International Tribunals:
A Historical Perspective
A. Legal Instruments

Declaration Respecting Maritime Law, Paris, 16 April 1856.

Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 22 August 1864.

Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, Saint Petersburg, 29 November/11 December 1868.

Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 (Text of the Conventions available on the website of Yale Law School’s Avalon Project).

Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, Versailles, 28 June 1919.

Treaty of Peace with Turkey, Lausanne, 24 July 1923.

Declaration of Amnesty, Lausanne, 24 July 1923.

Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 27 July 1929.

Inter-Allied Declaration on Punishment of the War Crimes, London, 13 January 1942.

Declaration on German Atrocities in Occupied Europe, Moscow, 20 October 1943.

Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis, London, 8 August 1945, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 82, p. 280.

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Annex to the Agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, London, 8 August 1945, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 82, p. 284.

Charter of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo, 19 January 1946.

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Paris, 9 December 1948, United Nations,  Treaty Series, vol. 78, p. 277.

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 31.

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 85.

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 135.

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Rome, 4 November 1950, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 213, p. 221.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, New York, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, p. 171.

Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, New York, 26 November 1968, United Nations, Treaty Series , vol. 754, p. 73.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1125, p. 3.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1125, p. 609.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the adoption of an additional distinctive emblem (Protocol III), Geneva, 8 December 2005, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2404, p. 261.

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 2 of Security Council resolution 808 (1993) (S/25704), 3 May 1993.

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Security Council resolution 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2187, p. 3.

B. Jurisprudence

Reichsgericht Penal Senate, Judgment in Case of Commander Karl von Neumann: Hospital Ship “Dover Castle”, 4 June 4 1921, reprinted in American Journal of International Law, vol. 16, 1922, p. 704.

International Military Tribunal, Judgment and Sentences, Nuremburg, 1 October 1946, reprinted in American Journal of International Law, vol. 41, 1946, p. 172.

Judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, in B. V.A. Roling/C. F. Riiter (eds.),  The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 29 April 1946-12 November 1948,  University Press Amsterdam BV, Amsterdam, 1977.

International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Prosecutor v. Tadic, Decision on the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction of 2 October 1995, Appeals Chamber, IT-94-1-AR72.

C. Documents

Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Report Presented to the Preliminary Peace Conference, Paris, 29 March 1919, reprinted in American Journal of International Law, vol. 14, 1920, p. 95.

Justice Robert H. Jackson, Chief Prosecutor of the United States of America, Opening Statement at the Nuremburg Trials, Nuremburg, 21 November 1945, reprinted in The Trial of German Major War Criminals by the International Military Tribunal Sitting at Nuremburg, Germany, William S. Hein & Co., Buffalo, 2001.

Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers: The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1955.

Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 11 February 1994.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Rules of Procedure and Evidence, 29 June 1995 (as amended on 10 April 2013).

International Criminal Court, Rules of Procedure and Evidence, New York, 9 September 2002.

D. Doctrine

S. Power, A Problem From Hell: American and the Age of Genocide, Basic Books, New York, 2002.

N. Silber/G. Miller, “Toward ‘Neutral Principles’ in the Law: Selections from the Oral History of Herbert Wechsler”, Columbia Law Review, vol. 93, 1993, p. 854.



The Mechanism: A New Model of International Criminal Tribunal
A. Legal Instruments

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 2 of Security Council resolution 808 (1993) (S/25704), 3 May 1993.

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Security Council resolution 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994.

Security Council resolution 1966 (2010) of 22 December 2010, Annex 1, Statute of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

B. Jurisprudence

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Radovan Karadžić case, IT-95-5/18.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Vojislav Šešelj case, IT-03-67.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Ratko Mladić case, IT-09-92.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Goran Hadžić case, IT-04-75.

Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Augustin Ngirabatware v. The Prosecutor, Judgment of 18 December 2014, Appeals Chamber, MICT-12-29.