After reading the recent report from John O'Sullivan UN Climate Scientists Plead for Immunity from Criminal Prosecution
I could not help think of something similar from the past...
Several of those accused at the Nuremberg trials offered the defense that they were merely carrying out the orders of their superiors. This defense was not accepted
In the Nuremberg trials (1945-1946), an International Military Tribunal tried high Nazi officials for actions committed during World War II that contravened the accepted laws of war.
Among the practices condemned were plotting and waging aggressive war, using slave labor, looting occupied countries, and abusing and murdering civilians (especially the Jews) and prisoners of war. The Allies' decision to try major Axis officials for war crimes had been announced in October 1943, when the American, British, and Russian foreign ministers met in Moscow.
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Planning for the trials began soon after V-J Day, and the tribunal opened in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 20, 1945, before a board of distinguished judges from the Allied countries. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Goebbels had committed suicide by that time, but Hermann Goering, Joachim Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Julius Streicher, Hjalmar Schacht, Martin Bormann (in absentia), and sixteen others were tried one by one for individually specified crimes.
Twenty-one of the 24 were convicted; of these, 12 were sentenced to hang and the remainder were sent to prison. Two of those condemned to death escaped execution--Goering by committing suicide and Bormann by remaining at large; the rest were hanged on October 16, 1946. Lesser officials were also tried, including officers and guards from the Dachau prison camp and civilians who had murdered American aviators. In all, 24 defendants were executed as a result of the Nuremberg trials, 128 were sent to prison, and 35 were acquitted. Similar trials in Tokyo (1946-1948) resulted in the hanging of 7 Japanese leaders and the imprisoning of 16.
The trials were criticized by many for retroactively criminalizing actions that had been legal, and even required under orders, at the time they occurred; to these critics, the trials appeared more like vengeance than impartial justice. But Robert Jackson, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and chief U.S. prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials, maintained that the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 had outlawed aggressive warfare; holding individuals accountable for their actions, he argued, would deter future aggression.
This argument prevailed at Nuremberg and was subsequently supported by the United Nations.
You may not support this view but those guys who ARE cooking the books should be held to account.