Since the Reagan administration’s ascent to power in 1981, thousands of American citizens have engaged in various forms of non-violent civil resistance activities in order to protest against distinct elements of U.S. foreign policy that violate basic principles of international law. These citizen protests have led to numerous arrests and prosecutions by federal, state, and local governments around the country. The author has given advice, counsel and assistance to individuals and groups who have engaged in acts of non-violent civil resistance directed against several aspects of the U.S. government’s foreign policy: the Nuclear Freeze Movement, the Sanctuary Movement, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Plowshares, and the Pledge of Resistance, among others. He has also participated in the defense of individuals who are not part of formal movements but nevertheless resorted to non-violent civil resistance to protest the U.S. government’s policies on nuclear weapons, Central America, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Because of these experiences, he drew up a set of rules and materials for criminal defense attorneys who seek to defend those who have engaged in acts of non-violent civil resistance by utilizing considerations of international law in the courtroom. This book should be of interest to all those who are members of these movements, or who are contemplating joining them, in order to inform themselves on the best legal arguments in defense of such activities. The book contains extensive materials analyzing the illegality of the U.S. government’s foreign policies toward nuclear weapons, Central America, Southern Africa, and the Middle East in a manner that can be readily comprehended and used by non-experts as well.
Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law
When you “step across the line” at the Nevada Test Site, at a military base or at your local federal building, you are probably protected by International Law. Our treaties (like the Partial Test Ban Treaty) and the Nuremburg Principles provide you with a legal defense against arrest and imprisonment when you commit acts of “civil resistance” against our government’s illegal warmaking. A number of juries have returned “not guilty” verdicts after hearing this defense.
The presentation of this defense allows you to educate the jurors, the judge and the prosecutors–maximizing the impact of your action.
Dr. Francis Boyle’s landmark book tells you how to run your own legal defense of civil resistance actions.
This book is a must for any person who has taken part in a civil resistance action, or who has contemplated doing so. See how this defense can not only give you your best chance to avoid jail, but can also advance the cause for which you risked arrest.