Eichmann Trial

Background

  • One of the most pivotal players; Adolf Eichmann, in the deportation of European Jews at the time of the holocaust, was born in Solingen, Germany March 19th, 1906
  • Throughout his childhood he grew up with his family in Linz, Austria. There he began his studies in engineering, ultimately never achieving a final degree and working job to job
  • Adolf Eichmann entered the Austrian National Socialist Party (NAZI) at the suggestion from his friend Ernst Kaltenbrunner in 1932
  • Soon after, Eichmann became a member of the SS and in 1934 served as a corporal at Dachau concentration camp
  • In September of that very same year; 1934, Eichmann was relieved of his duties on that assignment and assumed position in Heydrich’s SD, (the powerful SS Security Service). Soon after starting at his new position Eichmann was assigned to the Jewish section that was based on prying in the lives of prominent and threatening Jews. Accompanied with his new job, Adolf took great interest into all aspects of the Jewish Culture. He gradually became acknowledged as the ‘Jewish Specialist’, realizing this could have positive effects for his career in the SS

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Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Background

  • Initial development of nuclear technology was military, during WWII (Hiroshima & Nagasaki atomic bomb). The question which frames this treaty is: To what extent and in what ways does nuclear power generation contribute to or alleviate the risk from nuclear weapons?
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament. Every five years The Review Conference discusses about the issue and new concept of NPT.
  • Open for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. Currently there are 190 States parties including the five nuclear-weapon States that have signed NPT.
  • Based on 3 principles:
    1. States without nuclear weapons in 1967, a year before the treaty opened for signature, agree not to acquire them
    2. The five states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China) known to have tested nuclear weapons agree to not assist other states in acquiring them and to move toward eventual disarmament
    3. Nothing Shall inhibit the non-nuclear weapons states’ access to civilian nuclear technology and energy development as long as they do not pursue nuclear weapons

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Kyoto Protocol

Background

  • In 1992, countries joined an international treaty: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a structure to combat climate change internationally by attempting to prevent average global temperature increases as a result of over 150 years of industrial activity.
  • enters force in 1994- it is one of the first to recognize the problem of climate change, and strives to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system.”
  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement associated with the UNFCCC that unifies 37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reduce GHG emissions to an average of 5.2% against 1990 levels.
  • The first commitment period started in 2005 and ended in 2012.

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Eichmann Trial

Background

  • Adolf Eichmann was head of the Gestapo’s ‘Jewish affairs’ section; among the most despicable Nazi officials within the third reich.
  • After the Wannsee Conference in 1942, Eichmann was responsible for coordinating the deportation of Jews and others (ex. Gypsies), from Germany to western, southern and northern Europe to ‘Death Camps’ where his representatives would then carry out further orders. He also determined how confiscated Jewish property could be used in order to benefit his efforts.
  • Now a Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann fled from Austria after World War II in attempts to avoid imprisonment.
  • August 1945, in response to Germany’s unconditional surrender, the US, Britain, France, and Russia signed the London Agreement.
  • This then established the International Military Tribunal which was instated to prosecute those responsible for committing war crimes against civil populations and crimes against the peace.
  • Eichmann was brought to justice 15 years after the Nuremberg trials as he was presumed dead due to several defendants stating so during the trials.
  • In May 1960, Eichmann was seized in Argentina by the Israeli Security Service who then took him to trial in an Israeli court in Jerusalem.

Key Legal Issues

  • The trial was held under Israeli jurisdiction, a country that had previously not existed when the crimes were committed.
    • Questioned the validity and fairness of the trial.

Case

  • Bill of indictment signed by Israeli attorney general Gideon Hausner, stating 15 counts against Eichmann.
  • His charges include crimes against Jewish People, crimes against humanity, membership in a criminal organization.
  • After 14 weeks, the trial had ended August 14, 1961. On December 11, the verdict found Eichmann guilty and sentenced to death just before midnight on May 31.
  • May 29, 1962, Eichmann appealed to the Israel Court of Appeal who confirmed and revised the lower court’s judgment, also finding he had had no ‘superior orders’.
  • Brought international interest to Nazi crimes while confronting their atrocities and prompting an open discussion on the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors.

Extradition

Background

  • Extradition is the process where one country transfers a suspected or convicted criminal to another country
  • Regulated by treaties
  • The process involves a requesting state to make a formal request to the requested state
  • If fugitive is found in the territory of the requested state, the state can arrest the fugitive and subject them to extradition
  • Extradition procedures, that the suspect is subjected to, is based on the laws and practices of the requested state.
  • Final decision to extradite is made by the countries’ national executive.

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Tiananmen Square Dissidents Trial

Background

  • The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, were student-led protests against the corruption of the Communist Party. At the night of June 3, troops with assault rifles and tanks killed unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance towards Tiananmen Square, where students and other demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks.  The number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere between hundreds and thousands. The Chinese government condemned the protests as a counter-revolutionary riot, and has largely prohibited discussion and remembrance of the events.
  • In November or October 1989, Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao were arrested, and charged with intent to overthrow the Communist government and dissemination of counterrevolutionary propaganda.
  • Chen and Wang were arrested in late 1989 for their involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Chinese authorities alleged they were the “black hands” behind the movement. Both Chen and Wang rejected the allegations made against them. They were put on trial in 1990 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Key Legal Issues

  • Wang’s Defense claimed the United Front Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, invite Wang and others to “get involved immediately” in the movement to “serve as a bridge between the students and the government.” Thus, the Defense claimed Wang Juntao and Chen Ziming involved themselves in the movement to “fulfill the task assigned to them by the party.”
  • After the trial, in a letter smuggled out of prison, Wang criticized both his trial, he stated:
    • The public prosecutor accused me, on the grounds merely that I had opposed the leadership, of committing the crime of counterrevolution, I became very angry.
  • Beijing Higher People’s Court rejected appeals of the sentences.

Case

  • The court ruled that the actions “constitute the crime of plotting to subvert the government and the crime of counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement and must be punished according to law.”
  • Both Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao were sentenced to 13 years in prison, stated that the two “committed very serious crimes but have so far shown no willingness to repent.”
  • On April 23, 1994, the Chinese Government released Wang Juntao and allowed him to travel to New York on medical parole. The release came five weeks before the US decided whether to renew China’s most favored nation trading status.
  • On May 14, 1994, Chen Ziming was released on medical parole. In June 1995, he was placed under house arrest and then later returned to prison. He is once again released on medical parole in November 1996, two weeks prior to a visit by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher. He remained under strict house arrest until 2002 when his sentence ended.

Charles Taylor Trial

Background

Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor was born January 28th, 1948 in Arthington, Montserrado County, Liberia. He served as president of Liberia from August of 1997 till August of 2003. In March of 2003, Charles Taylor is indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on 17 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which was later reduced to 11. Charles Taylor then went into exile for several years after stepping down from his presidency. In 2006, he is arrested in Nigeria and sent to the SCSL. Taylor pleads not guilty to 11 counts he was charged with which were committed during the time of the Sierra Leone Civil War. The counts were: Five counts of war crimes: terrorizing civilians, murder, outrages on personal dignity, cruel treatment, looting. Five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, sexual slavery, mutilating and beating, enslavement. And one count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law: recruiting and using child soldiers. After he plead not guilty, the trial was moved to The Hague (Netherlands) for security purposes. Continue reading “Charles Taylor Trial”

Tiananmen Square

Background

  • Protest initiated with death of Hu Yaobang who was a hero to Chinese liberals for resigning as general secretary of Chinese Communist Party after not condemning student protests
  • April 17th 1991 about 500 students marched into Tiananmen Square to lay wreaths commemorating him
  • April 21 about 100 000 people including students, worker and older intellectuals gathered to rally for democracy and demanding political reforms like freedom of speech, press and assembly, greater funding for education, public disclosure of pay and asses of party leaders
  • Students began boycotting classes and some went on hunger strikes
  • May 20 martial law was declared but participants blocked the army with vehicles and other blocked soldiers from passing through
  • June 3 tanks and troops finally forced their way in and began teargassing the crowd and beating protestors with electric cattle prods and government banned media coverage
  • China reported death toll of 300 (including military, civilian and students) and 7000 injured with 1,500 arrested, but it is suspected that this is false information and that actually 1000 people had been killed and more than 10 000 arrested
  • In response World Bank suspended consideration of 780.2 million in loans to China and Bush administration suspended all high-level contact
  • Around 30 trials were reported—1 protest leader argued in court that he was interrogated under threat of death
  • An estimated 960 people still imprisoned with no reports of pending trials

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