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The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal
Law, History, and Jurisprudence

$42.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108820684

$ 42.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Like its Nuremberg counterpart, the Tokyo Trial was foundational in the field of international law. However, until now, the persistent notion of 'victor's justice' in the existing historical literature has made it difficult to treat it as such. David Cohen and Yuma Totani seek to redress this by cutting through persistent orthodoxies and ideologies that have plagued the trial. Instead they present it simply as a judicial process, and in so doing reveal its enduring importance for international jurisprudence. A wide range of primary sources are considered, including court transcripts, court exhibits, the majority judgment, and five separate concurring and dissenting opinions. The authors also provide comparative analysis of the Allied trials at Nuremberg, resulting in a comprehensive and empirically grounded study of the trial. The Tokyo Tribunal was a watershed moment in the history of the Asia-Pacific region. This groundbreaking study reveals it is of continuing relevance today.

    • The first truly comprehensive assessment of the Tokyo trial as a judicial process, separating it from other ideologically motivated studies
    • Illustrates the Tokyo Trial's importance for international jurisprudence by placing it in the context of both modern Japanese history and international criminal law
    • The book is based on often neglected sources, including a draft judgment by Sir William Webb, the President of the Tokyo tribunal
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘In The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal David Cohen and Yuma Totani, two of the most preeminent scholars on Japanese war crimes law and history, engage in the most thorough rebalancing of the legal analysis and historical appraisal of the tribunal yet to be undertaken.' Neil Boister, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

    ‘A welcome new take on the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Ironically, the freshness of this work rests in its classic framing. It studies the tribunal as a judicial process, examining the legal procedures by which evidence was presented and assessed. It offers a baseline for all future study of the tribunal.' Andrew Gordon, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    '… The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal is the kind of achievement reached by devoting a career to the field - or indeed the topic - and it promises to hold a key position in the historiography on the Tokyo trial.' Luigi Lonardo, Journal of Contemporary History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108820684
    • length: 559 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.8kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Allied War Crimes Policy, the Indictment, and Court Proceedings:
    1. The framework of the trial
    2. Charges of crimes against peace
    3. The Japanese system of government
    4. Individual roles in the making of the war and the overall conspiracy
    5. Counts on murder, conventional war crimes, and crimes against humanity
    6. Accountability of war crimes
    Part II. Law and Jurisprudence of the Judgments and Separate Opinions:
    7. The majority judgment: crimes against peace
    8. An alternative perspective on accountability for crimes against peace: the two Webb judgments
    9. The majority judgment on war crimes
    10. An alternative Tokyo judgment: the draft Webb judgment on war crimes
    11. The dissenting opinions by Justices Bernard and Roeling
    12. Pal's 'judgment', or dissenting opinion, on crimes against peace
    13. Pal's treatment of war crimes charges
    14. The concurring opinions of Justices Webb and Jaranilla

  • Authors

    David Cohen, Stanford University, California
    David Cohen directs the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, California (formerly the War Crimes Studies Center at the University of California, Berkeley, where Cohen taught for thirty-five years before moving the Center to Stanford in 2013). He publishes on international criminal law, transitional justice, human rights, classics, and comparative legal history, while also directing human rights, rule of law, and accountability projects in South and Southeast Asia and Africa.

    Yuma Totani, University of Hawaii
    Yuma Totani is a historian of modern Japan and presently teaches at the University of Hawaii. Her research interests are in World War II and war crimes trials in Asia and the Pacific. She is the author of The Tokyo War Crimes Trial (2008) and Justice in Asia and the Pacific Region, 1945–1952 (Cambridge, 2015). She has received various fellowships, including a National Fellowship from the Hoover Institution (2016), the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship (2012), and the Abe Fellowship (2011).

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