REVIEWS

Publication Date01 Mar 1963
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1963.tb00708.x
REVIEWS
THE
TRIAL
OF
ADOLF EICHMANN.
By
LORD
RUSSELL
OF
LIVERPOOL.
[London:
William Heinemann,
Ltd.
1962.
xxviii
and
824
pp.
30s.
net.]
WHEN
the Israeli Attorney General opened the trial of Adolf Eichmann in
Jerusalem in April
1961,
he explained that the proceedings had become
necessary because in none of the previous war criminals trials had the tragedy
of the Jewish people and the unparalleled atrocities committed by the Nazi
regime against them been the main concern of a court of law, the
veritable crux of the issue. Another and concurrent object of the trial
would seem to have been (in the words of the Presiding Judge, Moshe
Landau) “to emphasise the heroic feats performed by the ghetto fighters and
the resistance put up by the Jewish partisans in Poland and Russia,” the
more
so
since, as Lord Russell of Liverpool mentions in his prologue to
this book, there appear to have been “many young Israelis who were already
inclined to despise many of their elders who, in their opinion, in Germany
and in Central and Eastern Europe should have resisted their fate with
more vigour.”
The Eichmann trial might then be described as what has become known
as
a
“show trial”;
in
fact, of course, the court was concerned with the
crimes of a whole infamous and vicious rCgime rather than with the sinister
individual in the dock who had lent
himself
so
willingly and basely
to
the
execution of its evil designs. But if the prosecution of Eichmann served
to focus and express all the abhorrence which the civilised world felt for
the cold-blooded murder of almost five million Jews, there can be no doubt
that in its whole conduct the trial was not political, but strictly legal
in the best sense from beginning to end, always directed to the point of
bringing home to the accused beyond doubt the various definite crimes
with which he was charged.
“It
cannot be denied,” said the Presiding
Judge early
in
the trial,
that the memory of the Nazi holocaust stirs every
Jew, but while this case is being tried before
us,
it will be
our
duty to
restrain these feelings, and this duty we shall honour.”
The scrupulous fairness with which this undertaking was ,fulfilled
throughout the five months’
trhl
is evident on every page of this account
written coolly and factually by Lord Russell with all his long experience
as Deputy Judge Advocate General with the B.A.O.R. in the post-war
trial of German war criminals behind him. The restraint of Eichmann’s
judges, in the face of the extreme horror of the details revealed day by day
in court, made
a
deep impression on world opinion which, through Press,
radio and
T.V.,
was kept more fully informed than perhaps
at
any earlier
trial. The fact that the Eichmann case did in fact achieve to put on
record for ever a precise historical description of the events that occurred
during these terrible years must be the justification for the two less satis-
factory aspects of the case: the illegal kidnapping of the accused and the
fact that he was, inevitably, tried under
a
piece of retroactive legislation
in Israel. It is perhaps unfortunate that Lord Russell of Liverpool, though
he gives the full story of the search for Eichmann, should have skirted
altogether the vexed story of his capture and abduction,
as
well as most
of the legal argument concerned with it; he might also have printed the
text of the first (and disputed) statement which Eichrnann
is
said
to
have
signed in the Argentine. Another point lawyers may cavil at is the some-
what
scant summary of the indictment, the more since what is given there
209
210
“HE
MODERN
LAW
REVIEW
VOL.
26
does not always fit in with what is said in the (equally summitrised) judgment.
(Under Count
3
of the indictment as summarised Eichmann could hardly
have been convicted on the evidence.) But of course this is by intention a
book for the general public rather than for professional lawyers, and for
this purpose the summary of the proceedings here provided is admirably
succinct and informative. H. A.
HAMMELHANN.
AN
INTRODUCTION
TO
ROMAN LAW.
By
BARRY NICHOLAS. [Oxford:
1962.
xv
and
281
pp.
(with
index).
FOE
many years the initiate in Roman law has had to jump in
at
the deep
end almost before he has learned
to
swim in
a
sea of hitherto unexperienced
legal ideas. The books of “Elements”
or
“Institutes” have often been
difficult to read; the “Introductions” were either
too
short
or
too long
or
too much concerned with history.
For
this reason alone we might
appreciate
a
new Introduction which is not marred by any of these defects.
But this welcome addition to the Clarendon Law series adds other qualities.
Some of them were hitherto only to be found in books on comparative law.
There are very many comparisons with English law and frequent references
to the modern civil codes. The historical information is brief but amply
informative. The explanations of Roman legal concepts
are
clear and not
difficult to grasp. Many matters are put into their proper perspective
with
a
lucidity which writers on Roman law rarely attempt to achieve,
except perhaps, and then
only
occasionally, in articles on specialised topics.
Some passages seemed to this reviewer to be outstandingly well written,
particularly those on the importance of the
Corm
Juris
(pp.
43-46);
the attitude of the medieval lawyer to legal texts (pp.
47-48);
natural law
(pp.
66-67);
the Roman and English attitudes to marriage (pp.
80-61);
the position of concubinage (p.
84);
cum
minolrcm
(pp.
94-96);
the distinc-
tions
between actions and rights
in
rem
and
in
personam
(pp.
99-103);
English and Roman concepts of possession (pp.
107-108);
the degeneration
of the stipulation (pp.
194-196);
the general introduction to delicts (pp.
207-210);
the extension of the remedies
for
dmnm
injuria
datum
to cases
where no property was damaged (p.
221);
the comparison
with
the modern
laws of delict
or
tort (pp.
226-227);
Roman and modern attitudes
to
intestacy
(pp.
261-263).
The recital of these topics is merited
in
this review, not
only to indicate their quality, but also to give some idea of the sequence and
range of the material selected by the author.
To
be
sure,
there are
a
few defects, even occasional errors and surprising
omissions.
It
may seem strange, also, to find procedure lodged in the
interstices of history and substantive law rather than in
a
home of its own.
These petty complaints are quite unimportant. The querulous
anti-Roman-
law” reader should be relieved to find few footnotes, no excess of Latin,
and very scant reference to interpolations. This book
must
be read by every
student embarking on Roman law; it
ought
to be read by every English
lawyer who seeks an easy introduction to the legal concepts which exist
outside his
own
legal system.
Mr.
Nicholas deserves
our
gratitude for a
work of sound learning, pleasant style and agreeable reading.
at the Clarendon Press.
25s.
net.]
RAPHAEL
POWELL.
IL
POSITIVISMO
GIURIDICO
INOLESE.
By
MARIO
A.
CATTANEO.
[Milan: Dott. A. Giuffrk.
1962.
vii and
311
and (indices)
6
pp.
L.2,OOO.l
AN
earlier work by
Dr.
Cattaneo was reviewed in
(1961)
24
M.L.R.
at
p.
193,
together with
Dr.
Agnelli’s work on Austin. In his present book (another

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