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Australia’s War Crimes Trials 1945-51 by Georgina Fitzpatrick, Tim McCormack and Narrelle Morris

Australia’s War Crimes Trials 1945-51 by Georgina Fitzpatrick, Tim McCormack and Narrelle Morris (Brill Nijhoff) 

Judges' Comment

This substantial multi-authored volume deals with 300 war crimes trials that Australia conducted after the Second World War, in which most of the accused were Japanese. It describes and analyses the trials’ context, legal issues, trial locations and post-trial reflections. The book’s 23 essays cover topics such as ideological factors that help explain the crimes, the approach and structure of the Australian military courts, death sentences, the difficulties of some trial locations, and the extent to which the trials were fair. There are numerous illustrations and maps.

Australia’s War Crimes Trials addresses the significant consequences of Australia’s participation in the war against Japan. It tells stories of compelling human interest. Complex and frequently disturbing historical and legal factors are clearly explained, and Japanese and Australian perspectives are included. Based on extensive research, particularly using primary sources, this book is a scholarly achievement that is also consistently readable. It will interest lawyers and non-lawyers alike, and is unlikely to be replaced as the definitive work on its subject.