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45 Stan. L. Rev. 939 (1992-1993)
How Did We Get Here--Foreign Abduction after Alvarez-Machain

handle is hein.journals/stflr45 and id is 957 raw text is: ESSAYS
How Did We Get Here? Foreign
Abduction After Alvarez-Machain
Jonathan A. Bush*
I. INTRODUCTION
Can a country lawfully obtain jurisdiction over a criminal defendant by
kidnapping him from another country? For most people, the question defies
easy answer. Even supporters of such abductions usually concede that they
should be undertaken only in egregious cases, while opponents usually con-
cede an exception for figures like Adolf Eichmann.
International examples highlighting both perspectives are plentiful. Re-
cently, United States officials worked with foreign agents to seize alleged
drug lords and their hirelings from several Latin American countries, and
U.S. marshals lured a gun-running rogue CIA agent from his Libyan refuge
first to the Dominican Republic and then to Washington, D.C.I British mer-
cenaries have reportedly plotted to kidnap a fugitive from the Security Ex-
press robbery and return him to British officials.2 In the early 1960s,
French operatives abducted a colonial Algerian conspirator from Munich,
and Israeli volunteers took Eichmann from Argentina.3
* A.B. Princeton University, 1975; B.Litt. Trinity College, Oxford University, 1977; J.D. Yale
University, 1980. Associate Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. I
thank Guyora Binder, Peter Coffman, Doug Dziak, Mark Floersheimer, Esther Gueft, Malvina
Halberstam, Laird Hart, Stephen Harwood, Charles Miller, Tom Miller, Ruth Robbins, and Alan
Tonelson for their generous help at varying stages of this essay. I also thank the editors of the
Stanford Law Review for their patient and skillful editing. As always, my greatest debt is to Lisa
Lang.
1. See RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF FOREIGN RELATIONS LAW § 432 (1987); Michael Wines,
U.S. Cites Right to Seize Fugitives Abroad, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 14, 1989, at 6 (discussing the CIA's
Edwin Wilson and drug suspect Matta Ballesteros).
2. Aasdair Ross & Christopher Elliott, Costa Kidnap Plotters Hunt Runaway Ronnie, THE
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (London), June 28, 1992, at 2.
3. RESTATEMENT, supra note 1, § 432 rep. n.3. Other high profile political abductions are
described in Paul O'Higgins, Unlawful Seizure of Persons by States, in INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
AND POLITICAL CRIMES 336 (M. Cherif Bassiouni ed., 1975). Particularly disturbing instances in-
clude Gestapo agents kidnapping Jewish refugees from Switzerland and Holland, and antebellum
American slavecatchers seizing alleged runaway slaves in Canada. See KENNETH S. GREENBURG,
MASTERS AND STATESMEN: THE POLITICAL CULTURE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY 117 (1985); Intro-
duction: Canada, 1830-1865, in THE BLACK ABOLITIONIST PAPERS 4-6 (C. Peter Ripley ed., 1986);
Lawrence Preuss, Kidnapping of Fugitives from Justice on Foreign Territory, 29 AM. J. INT'L L. 502
(1935).

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