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Matters Outside the Realm of Law – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

April 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Genocide, History, Human Rights, The Law, WW2

All attempts to widen the range of the trial had to be resisted, because the court could not “allow itself to be enticed into provinces which are outside its sphere…. the judicial process has ways of its own, which are laid down by law, and which do not change, whatever the subject of the trial may be.” The court, moreover, could not overstep these limits without ending “in complete failure.” Not only does it not have at its disposal “the tools required for the investigation of general questions,” it speaks with an authority whose very weight depends upon its limitation. “No one has made us judges” of matters outside the realm of law, and “no greater weight is to be attached to our opinion on them than to that of any person devoting study and thought” to them. Hence, to the question most commonly asked about the Eichmann trial: What good does it do?, there is but one possible answer: It will do justice.

I think this is an often overlooked point – the moral authority of the Courts comes from the limits of its scope…

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