Darfur trial: appeal update

posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy on January 18th, 2007

(Background: Darfur Genocide on Trial)

The brief for the appellants (former defendants) has been filed. It was about 38 pages long with a 29 page appendix.

The District Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia has until the 2nd of February to file its brief and then the appellants have 15 days after that to file a rebuttal brief if they so desire.

After this, the DC Court of Appeals will schedule oral arguments before three judges in DC. Their ruling will come sometime in the following six months.

Robert Hollander, the attorney who advised the defendants at trial, said that he believes this appeal has a strong chance of success. If it prevails, and the verdict is overturned, this will be a major victory for the campaign against genocide in Darfur and also for activists who hope to use the necessity defense to justify nonviolent civil disobedience.

Many lower courts have upheld necessity, but no court of appeal has done so for cases of civil diosbedience. The precendent would be very significant.

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