Nuremberg Trial for ISIS returnees

November 2, 2017

 

Everybody knows about the Nuremberg Trials, the judicial-like procedure through which Nazi criminals were tried, sentenced and executed. The legal intricacies of that process are enough to give anyone a monstrous headache, but the precedent they established ameliorates what could be a viable process now that ISIS has been theoretically defeated. With tons of us, Europeans, very worried about the sheer stupidity of our politicians in welcoming back "home", with arms wide open, a literal battalion of ISIS fighters, this solution would serve to further the legal precedent established in 1945 though, much more important, would solidify the monumental symbolic value of holding such trial.

 

The legal basis for the Nuremberg Trials was the London Charter signed on August 8th, 1945 by the Allied Powers and it defined both procedural and substantial rules that enabled the functioning of the trials involving military and political leaders of the defeated Third Reich. Although it is extremely difficult to explain this whole thing in a cool minded manner to the average snowflake hellbent on "punching nazis", the reality is that the Nuremberg Trials were more of historical than juridical substance. First of all, the charges under which the defendants were indicted were set forth after the conducts were committed. This is a violation of the ex post facto principle, i.e. enacting law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions, something that developed nations allow only in case it benefits the defendant. So, technically, the sentences, specifically those of crimes against humanity, were handed out in violation of the nulla poena sine lege principle. Other criticisms of the trials were their partiality, as neither the atomic bombings nor the Soviet attack on Finland were on the table for debate, and there was also the problem of laxity in the rules of evidence since its technicalities were expressly brushed aside. Most of all, the London Charter was a treaty to which Germany wasn't a signatory, hence many had to jump through hoops to justify bringing its citizens into the jurisdiction of the court.

 

For these reasons many consider the Nuremberg Trials a juridical farce and, frankly speaking, they technically were. However, they set the precedent for the body and institutions of international criminal law existing today and, almost as important, historically, they are a groundbreaking cultural moment in the 20th Century. For the first time, still shaken by the discoveries of the atrocities committed, almost everyone on earth agreed on what constituted evil. In a world where we have been, are, and forever will disagree on what good means, agreeing on what bad is, regardless of culture and time and place, is a big, big deal. It is also a much more firm ground on which to launch a special tribunal to try all passport-carrying Europeans who chose to travel to the Caliphate and participate in horrific acts against all the precious things we, as a civilization, stand for.

 

Sure, sure, there are legal technicalities in this scenario as well, such as the existence of a true state with an organized machinery through which the crimes were ordered, executed, and supervised. Also, the issue of the different nationalities and laws involved. But, hey, that did not stop the WW2 victors from harnessing the global outrage and pulling a series of trials out of their behinds in order to set a precedent of what "evil" is and how it should be punished, right? One of the most precious things the Western civilization has is the presumption that there is a sacred element in all of us and, thus, the dignity of even the most horrendous criminal ought to be respected enough to go through a fair process in order to determine guilt and, then, impose a civilized punishment. But this whole mess is not going to get better by politically correct snowflake politicians asking for pampering and cuddles for the monsters who chose the medieval horrors of a death cult over our way of life, right? If there are some cojones left among European politicians and lawyers, what would set a dandy precedent with wide popular support is a tribunal to bring the hammer down on the approximately 5,000 Europeans who symbolically surrendered their citizenship in order to fight against what it represents.

 

As far as I know, dogs aren't allowed to start petitions to the International Criminal Court through www.change.org but, hey, maybe one of you, silly humans, could do us a favor. I think I am allowed to vote on those.

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