Georgina Fitzpatrick's edited book 'Australia’s War Crimes Trials 1945-51' shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Australian History Award

Congratulations to SHAPS History Fellow Dr Georgina Fitzpatrick.

Dr Georgina Fitzpatrick is lead author of Australia's War Crimes Trials, 1945-51 (Brill Nijhoff, 2016), which has been shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Australian History Prize. Georgina's fellow authors are Professor Tim McCormack and Dr Narrelle Morris. The prize is for a major work of non-fiction on an Australian history topic of national significance.

Judge's comments

This substantial multi-authored volume deals with 300 war crimes trials that Australia conducted after the Second World War, in which most of the accused were Japanese. It describes and analyses the trials' context, legal issues, trial locations and post-trial reflections. The book's 23 essays cover topics such as ideological factors that help explain the crimes, the approach and structure of the Australian military courts, death sentences, the difficulties of some trial locations, and the extent to which the trials were fair. There are numerous illustrations and maps.

Australia's War Crimes Trials addresses the significant consequences of Australia's participation in the war against Japan. It tells stories of compelling human interest. Complex and frequently disturbing historical and legal factors are clearly explained, and Japanese and Australian perspectives are included. Based on extensive research, particularly using primary sources, this book is a scholarly achievement that is also consistently readable. It will interest lawyers and non-lawyers alike, and is unlikely to be replaced as the definitive work on its subject.

For further information please see the New South Wales Library's Premier's Award announcement