Sunday, February 18, 2007
Hier, un criminel contre l'humanité est mort.
(Apologies to Camus) Maurice Papon, 96, died yesterday, nearly a decade after a French court convicted the former Vichy official for aiding crimes against humanity; that is, transportation of hundreds of French Jews to Nazi death camps. (The European Court of Human Rights reviewed the case in 2002.) Papon held top positions in France after World War II, aiding France's repression of the Algerian independence movement in the 1950s. His 1990s trial was one of a number of proceedings by which France began to account for decades-old international crimes committed on its soil. Our colleague Leila Nadya Sadat provided an excellent study of such efforts in The Interpretation of the Nuremberg Principles by the French Court of Cassation: From Touvier to Barbie and Back Again, 32 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 289 (1994).