Reflecting on Hannah Arendt and Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

35 Adel. L. Rev. 427 2014

Posted: 3 Jul 2016 Last revised: 18 Aug 2016

See all articles by Peter D. Burdon

Peter D. Burdon

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Gabrielle J. Appleby

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Rebecca Faith LaForgia

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Ngaire Naffine

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

In this essay, we offer a modem legal reading of Hannah Arendt's classic book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. First we provide a brief account of how Arendt came to write Eichmann in Jerusalem and explain her central arguments and observations. We then consider the contemporary relevance of Arendt's work to us as legal academics engaged with a variety of problems arising from our times. We consider Arendt's writing of Eichmann in Jerusalem as a study in intellectual courage and academic integrity, as an important example of accessible political theory, as challenging the academic to engage in participatory action, and as informing our thinking about judgement when we engage in criminal law reform. Finally, we consider the role of Arendt's moral judgement for those within government today and how it defends and informs judgement of the modem bureaucrat at a time of heightened government secrecy.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt, Eichmann, Legal Theory, Criminal Law, International Law

Suggested Citation

Burdon, Peter D. and Appleby, Gabrielle J. and LaForgia, Rebecca Faith and Naffine, Ngaire, Reflecting on Hannah Arendt and Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (2014). 35 Adel. L. Rev. 427 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2802928

Peter D. Burdon (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/peter.d.burdon

Gabrielle J. Appleby

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unsw.edu.au/profile/gabrielle-appleby

Rebecca Faith LaForgia

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

Ngaire Naffine

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

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