4 Dec. 45

adoption of the principle that the state as such is responsible for its criminal acts. In fact, save for reliance on the unconvincing argument of sovereignty, ·there is in law no reason why a state should not be answerable for crimes committed on its behalf. A hundred years ago Dr. Lushington, a great English Admiralty judge, refused to admit that a state could not be a pirate. History — very recent history — does not warrant the view that a state cannot be a criminal. On the other hand, the immeasurable potentialities for evil, inherent in the state in this age of science and organization would seem to demand, quite imperatively, means of repression of criminal conduct even more drastic and more effective than in the case of individuals. And insofar, therefore, as this Charter has put on record the principle of the criminal responsibility of the state, it must be applauded as a wise and far-seeing measure of international legislation.

[A recess was taken.]

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: [Continuing.] I was saying before the recess that there could be no doubt about the principle of criminal responsibility on the part of the state which engaged in aggressive war.

Admittedly, the conscience shrinks from the rigors of collective punishment, which may fall upon the guilty and the innocent alike, although, it may be noted, most of these innocent victims would not have hesitated to reap the fruits of the criminal act if it had been successful. Humanity and justice will find means of mitigating any injustice in collective punishment. Above all, much hardship can be obviated by making the punishment fall upon the individuals who were themselves directly responsible for the criminal conduct of their state. It is here that the powers who framed this Charter took a step which justice, sound legal sense, and an enlightened appreciation of the good of mankind must acclaim without cavil or reserve. The Charter lays down expressly that there shall be individual responsibility for the crimes, including the crimes against the peace, committed on behalf of the state. The state is not an abstract entity. Its rights and duties are the rights and duties of men. Its actions are the actions of men. It is a salutary principle, a principle of law, that politicians who embark upon a particular policy — as here — of aggressive war should not be able to seek immunity behind the intangible personality of the state. It is a salutary legal rule that persons who, in violation of the law, plunge their own and other countries into an aggressive war should do so with a halter around their necks.

To say that those who aid and abet, who counsel and procure a crime are themselves criminals, is a commonplace in our own