Unrestricted documents of the UNWCC archives now available online

The UN Archives and Records Management Section (UNARMS) and the ICC Legal Tools Project have responded magnificently to the UNWCC project’s representations to them to facilitate public access to the archive.

For the first time scholars, campaigners and lawyers can readily access the unrestricted files of the UNWCC. These files contain records of thousands of charges against Nazi and Japanese war criminals and the details of the development of a global, if short lived, system of international criminal justice. 

As late as November 2011, the UNARMS position was that even the now open sections of the archives could not be copied but following the representations made by our team at that time this policy has changed to some degree and this laid the ground for the access by the ICC. Some sections of the archive are also available in the Australian, Canadian, UK and US archives.

Dr. Plesch and his colleagues continue to seek effective access for bonafide researchers to the still restricted sections of the files which contain some 30,000 sets of pre-trial documents submitted by national and mixed military tribunals to the Commission for its prima facie judgement. These files contain details of many charges of crimes that are not being prosecuted with extensively today including rape and forced prostitution, and crimes by ordinary soldiers.