Human Rights Paradox in U.S. History
from the 2016 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo
Writer and PhD candidate Joseph A. Ross works with his faculty mentor, Dr. Mark E. Elliott, in the UNCG Department of History. His poster, “Remembering Nuremberg: The Paradox of Human Rights in American History,” took 1st place in Humanities at the 2016 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo.
From 1945 to 1946, the United States played a pivotal role in organizing and trying a group of Nazi war criminals at an international trial in Nuremberg, Germany. One of the Americans who participated in the Nuremberg Trial was North Carolinian judge John Parker.
As a direct result of his involvement at Nuremberg, Parker advocated for international organizations such as the United Nations and especially a permanent international criminal court that would follow in Nuremberg’s footsteps. This permanent court never came to be in Parker’s lifetime, but the International Criminal Court (ICC) was eventually established in 2002.
However, while most of the world has joined, the US still has not. Though the U.S., through the efforts of people like John Parker, laid much of the groundwork for the international human rights movement that exists today, the U.S. government has largely retreated from this legacy.
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