Press Release: 4 July 2013

UN War Crimes Commission’s archive is now available in the ICC Legal Tools Database


The ICC Legal Tools Database has made available virtually all of the unrestricted records of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), including its Far Eastern and Pacific Sub-Commission, and its three committees. The Database can be accessed here.

More than 2,240 UNWCC documents, totalling 22,184 pages, with search data for each document, have been added to the ICC Legal Tools Database. The records include meeting minutes from the Commission and its subordinate bodies, their working documents, and materials from the Research Office (which contain the Office’s own reports and reports from national and Allied authorities). Also included are a small but wide-ranging portion of the war crimes trial reports sent to the Commission by national authorities (Australia, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway).

The UNWCC documents shed light on the historical origins of international criminal law. The Commission operated from 1943 to 1948 and played an important role in preparing the ground for war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Tokyo, and other locations following World War II.

The ICC Legal Tools Database had contained more than 2,000 documents on World War II cases prior to this recent development, of a total number of 63,778 records offered by the Database. The Database web interface was recently made available in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, in addition to English and French. Almost all records are full-text searchable, in a number of languages using the Latin alphabet.

The ICC Legal Tools Database is developed by the Court’s Legal Tools Project team with current support from the European Union, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. The page-by-page digitisation and inclusion of the UNWCC’s records into the Database was made possible through close cooperation between the Project team and the United Nations Archives Unit and Office of Legal Affairs in New York.

The “Publications” collection in the ICC Legal Tools Database provides access to academic publications and research papers on international criminal law. This collection will continue to expand during the next years. If you would like your publications or research papers to be included in the Database, please send the texts in question and a request via e-mail to [email protected]. Relevant national legislation, case documents or other legal sources not yet in the Database should be sent to the same e-mail address.

For further information, please contact Sonia Robla, Chief of Public Information Section, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-8089 or 31 (0)6 46448726 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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