Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knowles on Justice Robert H. Jackson and the Foundations of the London Charter

'Judgment of the Law': Justice Robert H. Jackson and the Foundations of the London Charter has just been posted by Helen J. Knowles, State University of New York - SUNY at Oswego. Here's the abstract:
By the spring of 1945, when President Truman appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to be America’s chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, the more contentious political objectives for the Allied pursuit of postwar justice had already been the subjects of considerable debate within policy-making circles in the Roosevelt Administration. When he traveled to London to negotiate the Charter for the tribunal, Jackson took with him more than his own conceptions of what should be included in the document. As Jackson himself said, the structure of principles that he designed “only recognized an evolution that already had been consummated.” In this article I examine the impact of this consummation on the crafting of the London Charter.

The Charter reflected Jackson’s personal devotion to the rule of law, but a more complete understanding of his contributions to the Charter can best be achieved by examining the work of three other individuals. Drawing on materials from various manuscript collections at the F.D.R. Library, I look at the work of Herbert C. Pell, Henry L. Stimson, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. Jackson benefited from the domestic policymaking battles between these individuals because he was able to take with him to London the fruits of their labors and, through remaining purposefully detached from the baggage of the executive branch, meld them with principles that reflected his own beliefs.
Photo: Robert Jackson at Nuremburg.