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Culture and understanding in the Singapore war crimes trials (1946–1948): interpreting arguments of the defence

  • W.L. Cheah (a1)

After the Second World War, the British military organised 131 war crimes trials in Singapore, which served as the base for British war crimes investigations in Asia. These trials brought together diverse participants-judges and counsel from the UK, India, and other Allied countries; accused persons from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan; defence counsel from Japan; and witnesses from all over Asia. The majority of defendants in these trials did not deny their involvement in the war crimes concerned; instead, these defendants argued that their conduct was consistent with Japanese norms, beliefs and practices. This article explores trial participants' varied and contested interpretations of the culturally influenced arguments put forward by the defence.

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International Journal of Law in Context
  • ISSN: 1744-5523
  • EISSN: 1744-5531
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