Faced with injustice, what can a concerned citizen do? In 1933, when Hitler blamed Communists for setting the Reichstag on fire, European and American lawyers responded by staging a countertrial, which proved them innocent and eventually led to their release, launching a new unofficial way of advancing human rights. This book is the first full account of citizens' tribunals. It tells the history of such tribunals from this first success to the mixed record of subsequent efforts: the Moscow show trials, the American war in Vietnam, Japanese sexual slavery, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the excesses of "global capitalism."

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