David M. Crowe delivers BB&T Heritage Lecture at Barton College
David M. Crowe, a professor in the Department of History and Geography and a professor of legal history at Elon University School of Law, presented the annual BB&T Heritage Lecture at Barton College on Jan. 29, 2013.
Crowe's talk before a standing room only audience, "The United States' Quest for Justice Internationally after World War II," discussed the role of the United States in the growing body of international humanitarian law going back to the Civil War-era Lieber Code, its role in the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, and, most importantly, in creating the two major war crimes trials in Germany (Nuremberg) and Japan (Tokyo trial) after World War II.
Crowe also reminded the audience that the United States also brought to justice some of the major instigators and perpetrators of Nazi Germany's most heinous crimes in a series of trials in Nuremberg. And, unknown to most people, the U.S. also conducted thousands of military commission trials throughout Asia and Europe after World War II that brought lesser war criminals to justice.
Eeven though these military commission trials provided the legal basis for the current military commission trials in Guantanamo, the United States' tradition of using such trials can be traced back to the early decades of this country. He ended with a discussion of the controversies and legal challenges facing the White House and the Department of Defense as it is about to start the most serious of these trials in Guantanamo - that of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attack on the U.S., and his four co-conspirators.