The contribution of the Eichmann Trial to International Law

Schabas, William A. ORCID: (2013) The contribution of the Eichmann Trial to International Law. Leiden Journal of International Law, 26 (3) . pp. 667-699. ISSN 0922-1565 [Article] (doi:10.1017/S0922156513000290)


The trial of Adolf Eichmann was poorly received by many contemporary observers, who felt that it bent the law beyond recognition in several key areas. With the renaissance of international criminal law in recent decades, the handling of difficult issues by the District Court of Jerusalem and the Supreme Court has been shown to fare rather well. The understanding of the relationship between crimes against humanity and genocide by the Israeli courts, and their response to the charge of retroactive criminality, to the consequences of the kidnapping, and to claims that the tribunal lacked impartiality, have also stood the test of time. Perhaps most important of all, the Eichmann decisions actually moved the law forward on the question of universal jurisdiction, effectively setting aside the narrow jurisdictional frame set by the 1948 Genocide Convention. Critics at the time of the judgments, possibly influenced by the famous but harsh commentary of Hannah Arendt, were much too negative in their assessments.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Eichmann; universal jurisdiction; retroactivity; crimes against humanity; male captus bene detentus
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 12491
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Depositing User: William Schabas
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 07:18
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:20

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