Re Zühlke [Holland, Special Court of Cassation, Second Chamber.]

Docket NumberCase No. 156
Date06 Diciembre 1948
CourtSpecial Criminal Court (Netherlands)
Holland, Special Court of Cassation, Second Chamber.
Case No. 156
In re Zuhlke.

War Crimes — Crimes against Humanity — Meaning of — Relation between National Criminal Law and International Treaty — London Charter of August 8, 1945 — Incorporation of Treaty Provisions in Municipal Law by Reference — Concurring Authoritative Treaty Texts.

The Facts.—See Case No. 122. In view of the close connection created by Article 27a of the Dutch Special Criminal Law Decree of December 22, 1943, between the definition of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Dutch law on the one hand, and their definition in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg on the other,2 the Special Court of Cassation applied in practice Article 6, subsections (b) and (c) of the said Charter, and in particular the definitions of crimes under subsection (c). The lower Courts had tried to apply criteria more or less of their own devising.

Held (on appeal): that the criterion for a crime against humanity was not to be found solely in the violation of the moral precept that helpless and defenceless people can claim protection and aid. On the contrary, Article 27a of the Decree could only be applied if the acts committed amounted either to a war crime or to a crime against humanity, not in...

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