The Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand Russell and hosted by French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre. Along with Ken Coates, Ralph Schoenman, and several others, the tribunal investigated and evaluated American foreign policy and military intervention in Vietnam, following the 1954 defeat of French forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the establishment of North and South Vietnam.
Bertrand Russell justified the establishment of this body as follows:
‘’ If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us. ’’
-Justice Robert H. Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
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