The matter was not run as a defamation case
Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben angry over court costs
· AAP, July 04, 2011 1:49PM
HOLOCAUST denier Fredrick Toben doesn't want to pay court costs he's incurred trying to avoid bankruptcy for not paying court costs.
Toben told the Federal Court in Adelaide he has settled $56,000 in court costs after a bankruptcy motion was made against him by Jeremy Jones, former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Mr Jones had successfully sued Toben for defamation for publishing anti-semitic material on his revisionist Adelaide Institute website and wanted to enforce the motion after Toben's cost bill was not paid on time.
Toben went back to the court arguing he should not be made bankrupt because his former lawyer had failed to respond to the bankruptcy claim within 21 days.
Toben said he wanted to run for federal parliament at the next election and could not do so as a bankrupt.
In the court on Monday, he said he had paid the $56,000.
Representing himself, Toben said it would be "highly unjust" if he now had to also pay the costs of trying to avoid bankruptcy.
The matter was remanded until Friday, when he will appear in the Federal Court in Adelaide via video link from Sydney.
Opposition Leader embraces multiculturalism as Dutch walk away
· Ted Lapkin
Today's paladins of political correctness may be comfortable restricting the speech of those whom they detest. But do we really want to create a precedent that allows the quashing of speech merely because some people find it offensive? Can anyone guarantee that the political landscape of the future won't shift and those very same measures be turned against matters near and dear to us?
· June 29, 2011
TO my lay mind, the Commonwealth Racial Hatred Act ("Opposition leader embraces multiculturalism as Dutch walk away", Commentary, 28/6) is repugnant.
It's an imposition on democratic free speech, is unfairly applied and in principle unworkable. It does not define hatred, which might cover the spectrum from feelings of mere distaste to murderous thoughts. Worse, it makes no mention of what turns out to be the common ingredient of all prosecutions, that the race or religion of the offender differs from that of the offended. So it's not about the words used but who delivers them to whom. I could say things to a fellow Caucasian, or a fellow Jew, or a fellow atheist that would incur a far different risk of prosecution than if I said them at random to another Australian. What an awful law.
Tom Biegler, St Kilda East, Vic
TOM Biegler's criticism of the Commonwealth Racial Hatred Act is misconceived.
In Toben v Jones, the Full Federal Court accepted that Australia has a public interest in punishing the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, and that there is no public interest in promoting them. The court ruled that reasoned, fairly expressed, appropriately qualified policy debate is permissible, but sweeping, public derogatory generalisations about any racial group are impermissible. That is the line that should be drawn.
In his famous "Essay on Liberty", English philosopher John Stuart Mill recognised that liberty is measured not by the freedom exercised by one person, but rather by the freedoms exercised by us all. That concept is central to the Australian ethos of a fair go. You give your mate a fair go, because that is the right thing to do and once you accept the concept of a fair go for all Australians, you cannot support the position of an absolute right to free speech.
The test of a healthy democracy is not only the freedom of each individual to do as they please, but also the protections put in place to protect the weaker members of society against abuses of those very freedoms.
One of those protections is the protection against vilification. Vilification, intimidation and bullying actually stop or deter the exercise of the right of free speech by the victims of the vilification, intimidation and bullying.
David Knoll, Coogee, NSW
Free speech has limits in the law
Michael Lavarch ,
Behind the scenes of Holocaust henchman Adolf Eichmann's trial
Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann is condemned to death in an Israeli court in 1961. SOURCE: Supplied
WHEN Adolf Eichmann, "the architect of the Holocaust", was captured by Mossad agents in Argentina in 1960 and spirited out of the country, his trial in a civilian court in Jerusalem became a cause celebre.
Was the 13-year-old nation of Israel breaking international law by kidnapping Eichmann? Could he receive a fair trial in a nation created as a refuge against Hitlerian anti-Semitism? Could an Israeli lawyer be found who would act as defence counsel? Did a court in Jerusalem have jurisdiction over crimes perpetrated in Nazi Europe?
Israel insisted it had an inalienable right, as the homeland of the survivors of the Nazis, to put on trial a man who had been a key player in the slaughter of six million Jews. There was a strong opposing view, however, that Eichmann should be be tried in his native Germany or by an international tribunal.
The trial went ahead, Eichmann was found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged. It was a turning point in international justice. The way the court was convened and evidence presented meant Holocaust survivors didn't testify to what Eichmann had done to them personally but to the horrors caused by his efforts as part of the Nazi machinery.
Deborah Lipstadt, professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University in the US, has marked the 50th anniversary of the case with The Eichmann Trial, a forensic examination of the event, its aftermath and consequences. Explaining her approach, and the importance of the trial, Lipstadt writes that the prosecution
by relying on a succession of witnesses -- people who could speak in the first-person singular about the horrors of the Final Solution -- put a human face on genocide.
This approach became the template for subsequent war crimes prosecutions, such as that of Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor, the Eichmann trial having "made it clear to the world at large that the victims were not 'just' a multitude of people but were millions of individuals".
One of the observers of Eichmann's trial was philosopher Hannah Arendt, who in 1963 published Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt concludes that, far from being the personification of evil, he was a dull little clerk, a cog in the dreadful technology of mass murder. So ordinary was he that she explains away his work, and the way other plain people became swept up in the wickedness of the state, in her famous phrase, "the banality of evil".
It is her way of conveying how circumstance, rather than intent, fashioned him. Arendt also claims Eichmann was motivated not by anti-Semitism but by a desire to be seen as a good employee.
Lipstadt takes aim at Arendt's book. Her reading of the evidence shows Eichmann to have been motivated by hatred and anti-Semitism, and a desire to put into effect Hitler's Final Solution. He portrayed himself as a functionary obeying orders, but Lipstadt shows that his youth was suffused with anti-Semitism and his SS training drove him to become a willing participant in Nazi crimes.
The Eichmann Trial is not Lipstadt's first book about the world's oldest hatred. In 2000, she wrote Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, in which she accused British historian David Irving of being a Holocaust denier. Irving sued her and her publisher in a London court and amazingly, five decades after the end of the war, Lipstadt proved not just that the Holocaust did occur but that deniers' claims are based on lies, distortions and falsification of evidence.
In this new book, Lipstadt proves beyond question the subsequent importance that the capture, prosecution and judgment of this banal yet evil man has had for all victims of genocides, living as well as dead.
Alan Gold is a novelist and critic.
The Eichmann Trial
By Deborah Lipstadt
Doubleday, 272pp, $45 (HB)
Jul 4, 2011
Distortion in report on Toben case
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