Whereas the United Nations have from time to time made declarations of their
intention that war criminals shall be brought to justice;
And whereas the Moscow Declaration of 30 October 1943, on German atrocities
in Occupied Europe stated that those German officers and men and members
of the Nazi Party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting
part in atrocities and crimes will be sent back to the countries in which
their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished
according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free Governments
that will be created therein;
And whereas this Declaration was stated to be without prejudice to the case
of major criminals whose offences have no particular geographical location
and who will be punished by the joint decision of the Governments of the
Now therefore the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional
Government of the French Republic and the Government of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (hereinafter called "the Signatories") acting in the
interests of all the United Nations and by their representatives duly authorized
thereto have concluded this Agreement.
Article 1. There shall be established after consultation with the Control
Council for Germany an International Military Tribunal for the trial of
war criminals whose offences have no particular geographical location whether
they be accused individually or in their capacity as members of organizations
or groups or in both capacities.
Art. 2. The constitution, jurisdiction and functions of the International
Military Tribunal shall be those set out in the Charter annexed to this
Agreement, which Charter shall form an integral part of this Agreement.
Art. 3. Each of the Signatories shall take the necessary steps to make available
for the investigation of the charges and trial the major war criminals detained
by them who are to be tried by the International Military Tribunal. The
Signatories shall also use their best endeavours to make available for investigation
of the charges against and the trial before the International Military Tribunal
such of the major war criminals as are not in the territories of any of
Art. 4. Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the provisions established
by the Moscow Declaration concerning the return of war criminals to the
countries where they committed their crimes.
Art. 5. Any Government of the United Nations may adhere to this Agreement
by notice given through the diplomatic channel to the Government of the
United Kingdom, who shall inform the other signatory and adhering Governments
of each such adherence.
Art. 6. Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the jurisdiction or the
powers of any national or occupation court established or to be established
in any Allied territory or in Germany for the trial of war criminals.
Art. 7. This Agreement shall come into force on the day of signature and
shall remain in force for the period of one year and shall continue thereafter,
subject to the right of any Signatory to give, through the diplomatic channel,
one month's notice of intention to terminate it. Such termination shall
not prejudice any proceedings already taken or any findings already made
in pursuance of this Agreement.
In witness whereof the undersigned have signed the present Agreement.
Done in quadruplicate in London this eighth day of August 1945, each in
English, French and Russian, and each text to have equal authenticity.
(Here follow signatures)
I : CONSTITUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL
Article 1. In pursuance of the Agreement signed on 8 August 1945, by the
Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government
of the French Republic and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, there shall be established an International Military Tribunal
(hereinafter called "the Tribunal") for the just and prompt trial and punishment
of the major war criminals of the European Axis.
Art. 2. The Tribunal shall consist of four members, each with an alternate.
One member and one alternate shall be appointed by each of the Signatories.
The alternates shall, so far as they are able, be present at all sessions
of the Tribunal. In case of illness of any member of the Tribunal or his
incapacity for some other reason to fulfil his functions, his alternate
shall take his place.
Art. 3. Neither the Tribunal, its members nor their alternates can be challenged
by the prosecution, or by the Defendants or their Counsel. Each Signatory
may replace its member of the Tribunal or his alternate for reasons of health
or for other good reasons, except that no replacement may take place during
a trial, other than by an alternate.
(a) The presence of all four members of the Tribunal or the alternate for
any absent member shall be necessary to constitute the quorum.
(b) The members of the Tribunal shall, before any trial begins, agree among
themselves upon the selection from their number of a President, and the
President shall hold office during that trial, or as may otherwise be agreed
by a vote of not less than three members. The principle of rotation of presidency
for successive trials is agreed. If, however, a session of the Tribunal
takes place on the territory of one of the four Signatories, the representative
of that Signatory on the Tribunal shall preside.
(c) Save as aforesaid the Tribunal shall take decisions by a majority vote
and in case the votes are evenly divided, the vote of the President shall
be decisive; provided always that convictions and sentences shall only be
imposed by affirmative votes of at least three members of theTribunal.
Art. 5. In case of need and depending on the numbers of the matters to be
Lied, other Tribunals may be set up; and the establishment, functions and
procedure of each Tribunal shall be identical, and shall be governed by
II : JURISDICTION AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Art. 6. The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article
1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the
European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who,
acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals
or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.
The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction
of the Tribunal for which there
shall be individual responsibility:
(a) ' Crimes against peace: ' namely, planning, preparation, initiation
or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international
treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or
conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) ' War crimes: ' namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such
violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or
deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose of civilian population
of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war
or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private
property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation
not justified by military necessity;
(c) ' Crimes against humanity.- ' namely, murder, extermination, enslavement,
deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population,
before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious
grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction
of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the
country where perpetrated.
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation
or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing
crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution
of such plan.
Art. 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or
responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered
as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.
Art. 8. The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government
or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered
in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.
Art. 9. At the trial of any individual member of any group or organization
the Tribunal may declare (in connection with any act of which the individual
may be convicted) that the group or organization of which the individual
was a member was a criminal organization.
After receipt of the Indictment the Tribunal shall give such notice as it
thinks fit that the prosecution intends to ask the Tribunal to make such
declaration and any member of the organization will be entitled to apply
to the Tribunal for leave to be heard by the Tribunal upon the question
of the criminal character of the organization. The Tribunal shall have power
to allow or reject the application. If the application is allowed, the Tribunal
may direct in what manner the applicants shall be represented and heard.
Art. 10. In cases where a group or organization is declared criminal by
the Tribunal, the competent national authority of any Signatory shall have
the right to bring individuals to trial for membership therein before national,
military or occupation courts. In any such case the criminal nature of the
group or organization is considered proved and shall not be questioned.
Art. 11. Any person convicted by the Tribunal may be charged before a national,
military or occupation court, referred to in Article 10 of this Charter,
with a crime other than of membership in a criminal group or organization
and such court may, after convicting him, impose upon him punishment independent
of and additional to the punishment imposed by the Tribunal for participation
in the criminal activities of such group or organization.
Art. 12. The Tribunal shall have the right to take proceedings against a
person charged with crimes set out in Article 6 of this Charter in his absence,
if he has not been found or if the Tribunal, for any reason, finds it necessary,
in the interests of justice, to conduct the hearing in his absence.
Art. 13. The Tribunal shall draw up rules for its procedure. These rules
shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.
III : COMMITTEE FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS
Art. 14. Each Signatory shall appoint a Chief Prosecutor for the investigation
of the charges against and the prosecution of major war criminals.
The Chief Prosecutors shall act as a committee for the following purposes:
(a) to agree upon a plan of the individual work of each of the Chief Prosecutors
and his staff,
(b) to settle the final designation of major war criminals to be tried by
(c) to approve the Indictment and the documents to be submitted therewith,
(d) to lodge the Indictment and the accompanying documents with the Tribunal,
(e) to draw up and recommend to the Tribunal for its approval draft rules
of procedure, contemplated by Article 13 of this Charter. The Tribunal shall
have power to accept, with or without amendments, or to reject, the rules
The Committee shall act in all the above matters by a majority vote and
shall appoint a Chairman as may be convenient and in accordance with the
principle of rotation: provided that if there is an equal division of vote
concerning the designation of a Defendant to be tried by the Tribunal, or
the crimes with which he shall be charged, that proposal will be adopted
which was made by the party which proposed that the particular Defendant
be tried, or the particular charges be preferred against him.
Art. 15. The Chief Prosecutors shall individually, and acting in collaboration
with one another, also undertake
the following duties:
(a) investigation, collection and production before or at the Trial of all
(b) the preparation of the Indictment for approval by the Committee in accordance
with paragraph (c) of Article 14 hereof,
(c) the preliminary examination of all necessary witnesses and of the Defendants,
(d) to act as prosecutor at the Trial,
(e) to appoint representatives to carry out such duties as may be assigned
(f) to undertake such other matters as may appear necessary to them for
the purposes of the preparation for and conduct of the Trial.
It is understood that no witness or Defendant detained by any Signatory
shall be taken out of the possession of that Signatory without its assent.
IV : FAIR TRIAL FOR DEFENDANTS
Art. 16. In order to ensure fair trial for the Defendants, the following
procedure shall be followed:
(a) The Indictment shall include full particulars specifying in detail the
charges against the Defendants. A copy of the Indictment and of all the
documents lodged with the Indictment, translated into a language which he
understands, shall be furnished to the Defendant at a reasonable time before
(b) During any preliminary examination or trial of a Defendant he shall
have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charges made against
(c) A preliminary examination of a Defendant and his Trial shall be conducted
in, or translated into, a language which the Defendant understands.
(d) A Defendant shall have the right to conduct his own defence before the
Tribunal or to have the assistance of Counsel.
(e) A Defendant shall have the right through himself or through his Counsel
to present evidence at the Trial in support of his defence, and to cross-examine
any witness called by the Prosecution.
V : POWERS OF THE TRIBUNAL AND CONDUCT OF THE TRIAL
Art. 17. The Tribunal shall have the power:
(a) to summon witnesses to the Trial and to require their attendance and
testimony and to put questions to them,
(b) to interrogate any Defendant,
(c) to require the production of documents and other evidentiary material,
(d) to administer oaths to witnesses,
(e) to appoint officers for the carrying out of any task designated by the
Tribunal including the power to have evidence taken on commission.
Art. 18. The Tribunal shall:
(a) confine the Trial strictly to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised
by the charges,
(b) take strict measures to prevent any action which will cause unreasonable
delay, and rule out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever,
(c) deal summarily with any contumacy, imposing appropriate punishment,
including exclusion of any Defendant or his Counsel from some or all further
proceedings, but without prejudice to the determination of the charges.
Art. 19. The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence.
It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and
non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to
have probative value.
Art. 20. The Tribunal may require to be informed of the nature of any evidence
before it is offered so that it may rule upon the relevance thereof.
Art. 21. The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge
but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice
of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including
the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries
for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military
or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations.
Art. 22. The permanent seat of the Tribunal shall be in Berlin. The first
meetings of the members of the Tribunal and of the Chief Prosecutors shall
be held at Berlin in a place to be designated by the Control Council for
Germany. The first trial shall be held at Nuremberg, and any subsequent
trials shall be held at such places as the Tribunal may decide.
Art. 23. One or more of the Chief Prosecutors may take part in the prosecution
at each Trial. The function of any Chief Prosecutor may be discharged by
him personally, or by any person or persons authorized by him.
The function of Council for a Defendant may be discharged at the Defendant's
request by any Counsel professionally qualified to conduct cases before
the Courts of his own country, or by any other person who may be specially
authorized thereto by the Tribunal.
Art. 24. The proceedings at the Trial shall take the
(a) The Indictment shall be read in court.
(b) The Tribunal shall ask each Defendant whether he pleads "guilty" or
" not guilty."
(c) The Prosecution shall make an opening statement.
(d) The Tribunal shall ask the Prosecution and the Defence what evidence
(if any) they wish to submit to the Tribunal, and the Tribunal shall rule
upon the admissibility of any such evidence.
(e) The witnesses for the Prosecution shall be examined and after that the
witnesses for the Defence. Thereafter such rebutting evidence as may be
held by the Tribunal to be admissible shall be called by either the Prosecution
or the Defence.
(f) The Tribunal may put any question to any witness and to any Defendant,
at any time.
(g) The Prosecution and the Defence shall interrogate and may cross-examine
any witnesses and any Defendant who gives testimony.
(h) Defence shall address the court.
(i) The Prosecution shall address the court.
(j) Each Defendant may make a statement to the Tribunal.
(k) The Tribunal shall deliver judgment and pronounce sentence.
Art. 25. All official documents shall be produced, and all court proceedings
conducted, in English, French and Russian, and in the language of the Defendant.
So much of the record and of the proceedings may also be translated into
the language of any country in which the Tribunal is sitting, as the Tribunal
considers desirable in the interests of justice and public opinion.
VI : JUDGMENT AND SENTENCE
Art. 26. The judgment of the Tribunal as to the guilt or the innocence of
any Defendant shall give the reasons on which it is based, and shall be
final and not subject to review.
Art. 27. The Tribunal shall have the right to impose upon a Defendant, on
conviction, death or such other punishment as shall be determined by it
to be just.
Art. 28. In addition to any punishment imposed by it, the Tribunal shall
have the right to deprive the convicted person of any stolen property and
order its delivery to the Control Council for Germany.
Art. 29. In case of guilt, sentences shall be carried out in accordance
with the orders of the Control Council for Germany, which may at any time
reduce or otherwise alter the sentences, but may not increase the severity
thereof. If the Control Council for Germany, after any Defendant has been
convicted and sentenced, discovers fresh evidence which, in its opinion,
would found a fresh charge against him, the Council shall report accordingly
to the Committee established under Article 14 hereof for such action as
they may consider proper, having regard to the interests of justice.
VII : EXPENSES
Art. 30. The expenses of the Tribunal and of the Trials shall be charged
by the Signatories against the funds allotted for maintenance of the Control
Council for Germany.