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Attorney-General of the Government of Israel v. Eichmann

Supreme Court of Israel
36 I.L.R. 5 (1961)


Facts

Adolf Eichmann (defendant) was a German Nazi officer involved in the internment and extermination of Jewish people during World War II. When the war ended, Eichmann escaped to Argentina, where years later, he was kidnapped by Israeli officers and forcibly brought to Israel for trial for war-crime charges. Eichmann challenged the Israeli court’s jurisdiction, arguing that the court was not empowered to adjudicate the case against Eichmann because his illegal kidnapping by Israeli agents violated international law. The attorney general of Israel (plaintiff) contended that the legality of the means of arrest and of the transfer of a fugitive were not relevant jurisdictional issues for the court to address. Additionally, at the time of Eichmann’s seizure, Argentina complained to the United Nations Security Council (Security Council), alleging a violation of Argentina’s sovereignty by Israel’s actions. The Security Council issued a Resolution, recognizing that Israel’s conduct would disrupt international relations if the conduct were permitted in the future, and requesting that Argentina and Israel reach an agreement on the settlement of the dispute. As a result, before Eichmann’s indictment, Argentina and Israel settled the issue, with Argentina clearing Israel of responsibility for any violations related to Eichmann’s kidnapping. The Supreme Court of Israel then considered Eichmann’s challenge to Israel’s jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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