In some cases, trials are more than compelling stories about the search for justice. They become the stuff of history through their impact on the law and society. While the full impact of these cases is difficult to measure at the moment they occur, it often is clear that their impact will be profound.
For this package, the Journal invited 10 distinguished lawyers from around the world to identify and describe one historic trial each. We gave them free rein, and it shows. The list of cases is eclectic and thought-provoking. Are these the greatest trials in history? Probably not. But each case in its way has had an impact beyond the law; and for most of them, the full extent of that impact has yet to be determined.
The cases—and links to the essays—follow, in chronological order.