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The Trial of the Kaiser$
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William A. Schabas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833857

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833857.001.0001

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An International Criminal Court

An International Criminal Court

Chapter:
(p.157) 11 An International Criminal Court
Source:
The Trial of the Kaiser
Author(s):

William A. Schabas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198833857.003.0011

The earliest proposals for an international criminal court emerge during the sessions of the Commission on Responsibilities. The French insist that it will offer a ‘greater stage’, something that is necessary if the former German Emperor is to be prosecuted. On this issue, too, the Americans are totally opposed. The Commission also debates whether or not the Kaiser may be able to invoke immunity as a Head of State. It also considers a notion of guilt by abstention, whereby a leader may be tried for the crimes of subordinates to the extent that he or she failed to intervene to prevent the punishable acts, a doctrine known today as ‘superior responsibility’.

Keywords:   International Criminal Court, Commission on Responsibilities, immunity, Head of State, superior responsibility

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