Jonathan Rée

freelance writer and member of the Philosophers’ Group of the British Humanist Association. Recently edited (with Jane Chamberlain) The Kierkegaard Reader


The current trend in criminal jurisdiction is to shift emphasis away from the accused and towards the victims of crime. This reflects a broader trend which is concerned with shaping communal memory and forging political traditions rather than only holding individuals to account. The Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961, Jonathan Rée argues, set a legal precedent in the sense that the trial was foremost concerned with the retribution for the suffering of a people. Returning to Hannah Arendt’s controversial book on the trial, Eichmann in Jerusalem, what are the implications and dangers of the “victim-centred” approach?

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