November 19, 2013

The Kaiser As a War Criminal

Kirsten Sellers, National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, is publishing German Aggression and the Stillbirth of International Criminal Law at the Paris Peace Conference in The Crime of Aggression--A Commentary (Claus Kress and Stefan Barriga eds.; Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2015). Here is the abstract.

At the end of the First World War, David Lloyd George, campaigning on behalf of his coalition government, declared: ‘The Kaiser must be prosecuted. The war was a crime. Who doubts that?’ This was a radical departure from the traditional approach to war, containing within it two innovative ideas: that embarking upon an aggressive war was a crime, and that a head of state could be held personally responsible for it. This would soon become an important theme in discussions between the entente nations at the Paris Peace Conference about the viability of trying Wilhelm II for war-related crimes. Now, nearly a century later, with the idea of charging leaders for the ‘crime of aggression’ on the International Criminal Court’s agenda, the issues first raised by Lloyd George and others continue to resonate.
The full text is not available from SSRN.  

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