World War I: A Phoenix Moment in the History of International Criminal Tribunals

Ziv Bohrer, Benedikt Pirker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The post-World War II International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg is commonly considered the first-ever international criminal tribunal. It is also often argued that the very idea of an international criminal tribunal emerged after World War I, when the first plans for such a tribunal were drawn up. This article, however, presents a very different account. It shows that international criminal tribunals did not have to wait for their conception until after World War I; nor did they come into being after World War II - they already operated during World War I and the preceding century. The article also demonstrates that the existence of such tribunals did influence the participants of the Paris Peace Conference, even though they portrayed them as novel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-887
Number of pages37
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022

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