Nuremberg defense

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Nuremberg defense

A plea or legal defense strategy in which the defendant claims that their actions were solely the result of carrying out the orders of superiors and that, as such, they 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
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Second World War "Nuremberg defence" of "I was only following orders" by some of the accused, who have allegedly, turned and ratted on each other, is as unacceptable now as it was 70 years ago.
* SIR - Do you really think it is acceptable to allow John Lowles to cite the Nuremberg defence to justify his regiment killing civilians in Llanelli in 1911 ("'Llanelli troops were right to shoot'", Aug 20)?
IT'S doubtful whether the Rock Steady steward at the centre of the James McFadden row is aware of the Nuremberg defence.
This self-serving elite are totally insulated from the reality of credit-crunch Britain and continue to parrot the Nuremberg Defence: "We only acted within the rules."