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
References in periodicals archive ?
AS Stephen Soldz, a Boston-based psychoanalyst and APA critic observes: "What sort of experts on ethics write the Nuremberg defense into their professional ethics code?"
We take pride in volume counts and holdings but take the Nuremberg defense when asked how, except by shear weight of numbers, these tomes and tools function to support the disciplines for which they were brought into being.
Interviewed recently in New York City by Myra MacPherson of The Washington Post, Sharon defended himself in injured tones on the matter of the Qibya slaughter in 1953, where his Unit 101 murdered more than seventy villargers, by saying, "I implemented an order that I got." Perhaps for the tyro killer Sharon the Nuremberg defense was available.