Robert H. Jackson: Opening Statement before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Germany

(1945)

Robert H. Jackson is widely remembered for his fluency in language and his ability to concisely convey complicated arguments understandably. He possessed a clear-sighted view of the limitations of the law, both in terms of preventing problems and as having itself the potential to cause problems. He also held a strong belief that the law, properly cared for and implemented by those responsible for doing so, could be a powerful, active force in protecting rights and liberties and redressing wrongs. In his writings and statements, Jackson demonstrates his commitment to creating working legal systems that treated all people equally, including heads of state, and his documents all speak to his belief that the law can protect individual liberties without weakening government itself. In his Opening Statement before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Germany, Jackson lays out the charges in the war crimes trials of former Nazis, citing civilization itself as the...

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Robert Jackson (Library of Congress)

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