PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
RECOGNIZED IN THE CHARTER OF THE
NUREMBERG TRIBUNAL AND IN THE JUDGMENT
OF THE TRIBUNAL
Adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations, July 1950
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Under General Assembly Resolution 177 (II), paragraph (a), the International Law Commission was directed to “formulate the principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the judgment of the Tribunal.” In the course of the consideration of this subject the question arose as to whether or not the Commission should ascertain to what extent the principles contained in the Charter and judgment constituted principles of international law. The conclusion was that since the Nuremberg principles had been affirmed by the General Assembly, the task entrusted to the Commission was not to express any appreciation of these principles as principles of international law but merely to formulate them. The text below was adopted by the Commission at its second session. The Report of the Commission also contains commentaries on the principles (see Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1950, Vol. II, pp. 374–378).
AUTHENTIC TEXT: English. The text below is reproduced from Report of the International Law Commission Covering its Second Session, 5 June — 29 July 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 11–14.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Report of the International Law Commission Covering its Second Session, 5 June-29 July 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 11–14 (Engl.); Rapport de la Commission du droit international sur les travaux de sa deuxième session du 5 Juin au 29 Juillet 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 12–16 (French); Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1950, Vol. II, pp. 374–380 (Engl.); AJIL, Vol. 44, 1950, Suppl., pp. 126–134 (Engl.); Yearbook of the United Nations, 1950, New York, United Nations, 1951, p. 852 (Engl.); Benjamin B. Ferenz, An International Criminal Court: a step towards world peace. A Documentary History and Analysis. Dobbs Ferry, Oceana Publications, 1980, Vol. II, pp. 235–239 (Engl.); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1311–1313 (French).
Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.
The fact that international law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.