Nuremberg defense

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Nuremberg defense

A plea or legal defense strategy in which the defendant claims that his or her actions were solely the result of carrying out the orders of superiors and that, as such, he or she should not be found guilty of such actions. Refers to the use of such a defense by political and military leaders of defeated Nazi Germany in the Nuremberg Trials of 1945–46. Against the charge of unlawful murder during wartime, the staff sergeant's defense attorney put forward a Nuremberg defense, claiming that the killings were carried out under direct orders by superior officers.
See also: defense
References in classic literature ?
The Apology or Platonic defence of Socrates is divided into three parts:
Few persons will be found to wish that Socrates should have defended himself otherwise,'--if, as we must add, his defence was that with which Plato has provided him.
Gentlemen,' said he, `you have heard the Comte de Morcerf's defence.
There were many men of talent who said what they could in defence of the king's tyrannical proceedings," replied Grandfather.
Dismounting from his horse, and using him as a breastwork, he levelled his gun across his back, and, thus prepared for defence like a wary cruiser upon the high seas, he permitted himself to be approached within speaking distance.
The eagle let go her hold; she did not succeed in taking it home to her little ones, and so will it be--with ourselves; even though by a mighty effort we break through the gates and wall of the Achaeans, and they give way before us, still we shall not return in good order by the way we came, but shall leave many a man behind us whom the Achaeans will do to death in defence of their ships.
To and fro swayed the mass of struggling warriors, men falling fast as leaves in an autumn wind; but before long the superior weight of the attacking force began to tell, and our first line of defence was slowly pressed back till it merged into the second.
At that instant, too, a messenger arrived to say that the left attack had been repulsed; and I was just beginning to congratulate myself, believing that the affair was over for the present, when, to our horror, we perceived our men who had been engaged in the right defence being driven towards us across the plain, followed by swarms of the enemy, who had evidently succeeded at this point.
And now since we have reverted to the subject of poetry, let this our defence serve to show the reasonableness of our former judgment in sending away out of our State an art having the tendencies which we have described; for reason constrained us.
Shall I propose, then, that she be allowed to return from exile, but upon this condition only--that she make a defence of herself in lyrical or some other metre?
At the police court proceedings, we shall hear the case for the prosecution, but in all probability his solicitors will advise him to reserve his defence.
If I am called upon to give evidence at all"--he smiled broadly--"it will probably be as a witness for the defence.
Mr Partridge, therefore, was summoned to attend, in order to his defence (if he could make any) against this accusation.
Mr Allworthy, whose natural love of justice, joined to his coolness of temper, made him always a most patient magistrate in hearing all the witnesses which an accused person could produce in his defence, agreed to defer his final determination of this matter till the arrival of Jenny, for whom he immediately dispatched a messenger; and then having recommended peace between Partridge and his wife (though he addressed himself chiefly to the wrong person), he appointed them to attend again the third day; for he had sent Jenny a whole day's journey from his own house.
At the defence of the Salwanners,' repeated Mr Willet, softly; again looking round the table.