Sample Case Study Paper on The crime of Aggression and International Law


The crime of aggression represents a type of crime involving planning, initiating, and
executing acts of aggression through military force. The crime remains covered under the law by
the Charter of the United Nations. Adams (2012) notes that the law governing over the offense,
however, poses some philosophical questions like the categorization of the crime as an ex post
facto appeal. The appeal to justice or human rights, thus, represents a challenge to ‘the law of
civilized nations’ to deal with crimes of aggression effectively. The case brought forth by both
Jackson and Wyzaski against acts by the Nazis represents a complete analysis concerning the
role of customary and international jurisdiction in solving the crime of aggression.
International Community and International Law

I agree with Jackson’s claims that the international community has the right to institute
new customs that form the basis for expanding international law. The Prosecution at the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (IMT) represented arguments against the acts of
the Nazis on accounts of war crimes, crimes opposing peace, and crimes affecting humanity
(Mach, 2018). Despite rulings against such actions, the IMT court had limited jurisdiction with a
lack of global endorsement to include the international community. The concept, as Adams
(2012) explains, means that the international community remained withdrawn from collaboration
or exercise of such jurisdictions. Even after the General Assembly of the United Nations
unanimously affirmed judgment concerning the formulation of international criminal codes,
international parties still lag in supporting such initiatives. The lack of adoption of the Rome
Statute means that cases like crime aggression involving the United Nations remain challenging.

Integrating the international community in international law, thus, can serve as a basis for
expanding international law.

Jackson’s Argument on Aggressive Warfare

Jackson argued that the aggressive warfare facing Nazi leaders to end lives, account for
similar crimes, and fight against peace represented a law sanction. However, the limited
jurisdiction of the IMT and lack of practical global endorsement demoted recognitions
concerning international law. The case hearing at Nuremberg (IMT) began on October 1, 1946,
later followed by the formulation of the Nuremberg Charter in 1946 (Adams, 2012). The charter
unanimously started working on developing principles within the international criminal code.
Jackson’s ground proves effective in showing that tactics of aggressive warfare create a law
sanction through the crime of aggression. The Nuremberg Charter explained that any crimes
against humanity or peace remained closely represented as civil compared to universal laws,
showing similarities with Jackson’s argument.

Crime as a Moral and Legal Wrong

Jackson uses crime in the sense of both moral and legal wrong in his opening statement at
Nuremberg. Moral wrong represents a concept in legal wrong explaining crimes that do more
that external damage to victims. Murder or rape are examples of moral wrongs because of their
adverse effects. Jackson understood that the Nazis’ efforts to maintain power to take life
represented a moral sanction. Jackson also uses crime as a legal wrong to develop civil law,
especially on cases of misconduct or public mistakes (Woetzel, 2017). Murder and rape, again,
are good examples of legal wrong crimes. Jason’s question poses a challenge to both accused
men and the court in analyzing the importance of treating crime as both moral and legal wrong
when dealing with crime aggression.


Nuremberg Charter’s ‘new’ law

Wyzanski notes that the Nuremberg Charter attracted a lot of interest through its Count 2
indictment. The charges claim that defendants found participating in any preparation, waging,
initiating, or planning any wars of aggression remained in violation concerning international
assurances, agreements, or treaties. Wyzanski’s ‘new’ law continues to grow with the last
generation generating mounting evidence concerning sentiments indicating the wrongful nature
of wars of aggression. Wyzanski also argues that the law remains new as there previously existed
no conventional treaty or stipulations placing explicit obligations concerning the funding or
aiding of wages in aggressive wars. Mach (2018) analyses that possible bias can also arise from
the ‘new’ law, as explained b Wyzanski. Since the matter concerning the crime of aggression
focus on both moral and law, the concept offers room for potential bias by analyzing such cases
through the political or ethical eye, excluding the law.

Jackson on ex post facto appeal

I would second Jackson’s argument explaining that fundamental ideals remained around
for a long time; thus, the use of ex post facto in appealing principles of justice or human rights
remains as a non-essential. The ex post facto laws represent political rather than constitutional
truth, focusing on the creation of power after offenses through the creation of statute (Adams
2012). Jackson also explains that diverse philosophers like Locke and Hobbes also remained
adamant in adopting ex post facto legislation. Promoting the appeal, thus, demotes the
importance and necessity behind the constitution’s principle of limitation. Philosophers like
Cicero and Demosthenes also comprehended the challenge with retroactive laws, especially in
their ability to change core values through abandonment and adaptation of beliefs based on
individualism or political gain and attention.


Judge Ruling

I would rule that those held responsible for the Nazi atrocities broke ‘the law.’ The law
developed through the Nuremberg Charter first explained that crimes against humanity like
torture, persecution of minorities, and murder represent war crimes. The Nazi atrocities included
abuse of the Jews and murder, showing a violation of ‘the law.’ Adams (2012) offers reference
through Articles 46 & 47 in the Hague Convention accepted by many nations, including the U.S.,
of 1907 also explained that occupation of hostile territory by all involved countries would
observe people’s lives, private property, religious practice, and family rights. The acts by the
Nazis, however, broke the convention proving their guilt. The superior-order approach taken as a
defense by the defendants explains that using the ex post facto approach, the German soldiers
remained compelled to kill and torture if guilty of murder to preserve their families’ lives
(Woetzel, 2017). The challenging doctrine might have ground, but no law recognizes compulsion
as an excuse for killing or violating people’s human rights. The concept lacks field as it exposes
the cornerstone of law and justice to represent quicksand based on self-interest while leaving
society’s structure under the hands of ruthless criminals.

The International Military Tribunal held at Nuremberg served as a stepping stone in the
maintenance and growth of international law through analyzing and calling out the ‘supreme
international crime’ that is crime aggression. The judgment passed represented the first time that
the international court held is the responsible parties accountable for their acts of aggression of
war crimes like initiating, planning, and preparing a war of aggression. Jackson’s argument
explained that war crimes represent both moral and legal wrongs requiring proper judgment
under the Nuremberg Charter and previously-existent philosophical frameworks. Wyzanski also

reveals that the charter included ‘new’ laws like involving parties that initiated, planned and
prepared wars of aggression as guilty under the law.



Adams, D. M. (2012). Philosophical problems in the law. Cengage Learning; 5 edition (February
9, 2012).
Mach, J. T. (2018). The Nuremberg Trials: A Troubled Legacy.
Woetzel, R. K. (2017). Comments on the Nuremberg Principles and Conscientious Objection
with Special Reference to War Crimes. The Catholic Lawyer, 16(3), 7.