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This article revisits the case of The State of Israel v Adolph Eichmann and calls for renewed attention to the analysis of universal jurisdiction in this early example of it. Precisely because the Israeli court’s notion of universal jurisdiction is foreign to contemporary readers, it provides fresh guidance on a doctrine that has recently gained enormous importance in global politics. The Eichmann Opinion suggests a two-tiered test: among the cases satisfying the traditional conditions for universal jurisdiction, only those cases in which there is a political interest in pressing charges should be selected. As a world court with universal jurisdiction has not been established, universal jurisdiction remains grounded both in a universal vision of humanity and in the violence wielded by particular institutions.

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