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Laws of WarThe term laws of war refers to the rules governing the actualconduct of armed conflict This idea that there actually exists rules thatgovern war is a difficult concept to understand The simple act of war inand of itself seems to be in violation of an almost universal lawprohibiting one human being from killing another But during times of warmurder of the enemy is allowed which leads one to the question if murderis permissible then what possible laws of war could there be Theanswer to this question can be found in the Charter established at theInternational Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and TokyoCrimes against Humanity namely murder exterminationenslavement deportation and other inhumane acts committed against anycivilian population before or during the war or persecutions onpolitical racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connectionwith any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal whether or not inviolation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated Leadersorganizers instigators and accomplices participating in the formulationor execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoingcrimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in executionof such plan1The above excerpt comes form the Charter of the Tribunal Article 6 sectionC which makes it quite clear that in general the laws of war are thereto protect innocent civilians before and during warIt seems to be a fair idea to have such rules governing armed conflictin order to protect the civilians in the general location of such aconflict But when the conflict is over and if war crimes have beencommitted how then are criminals of war brought to justice TheInternational Military Tribunals held after World War II in Nuremberg on 20November 1945 and in Tokyo on 3 May 1946 are excellent examples of how suchcrimes of war are dealt with Roberts and Guelff 153-54 But rather thanelaborate on exact details of the Tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo a moreimportant matter must be dealt with What
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