Writing History in International Criminal Trials by Richard Ashby WilsonWriting History in International Criminal Trials by Richard Ashby Wilson

Writing History in International Criminal Trials

byRichard Ashby Wilson

Paperback | March 7, 2011

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Why do international criminal tribunals write histories of the origins and causes of armed conflicts? Richard Ashby Wilson conducted empirical research with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and expert witnesses in three international criminal tribunals to understand how law and history are combined in the courtroom. Historical testimony is now an integral part of international trials, with prosecutors and defense teams using background testimony to pursue decidedly legal objectives. Both use historical narratives to frame the alleged crimes and to articulate their side's theory of the case. In the Slobodan Milošević trial, the prosecution sought to demonstrate special intent to commit genocide by reference to a long-standing animus, nurtured within a nationalist mind-set. For their part, the defense calls historical witnesses to undermine charges of superior responsibility, and to mitigate the sentence by representing crimes as reprisals. Although legal ways of knowing are distinctive from those of history, the two are effectively combined in international trials in a way that challenges us to rethink the relationship between law and history.
Title:Writing History in International Criminal TrialsFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:272 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.59 inShipping dimensions:8.98 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:March 7, 2011Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521138310

ISBN - 13:9780521138314

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Table of Contents

1. Assessing court histories of mass crimes; 2. What does the 'international' actually mean for international criminal trials?; 3. Contrasting evidence: international and common law approaches to expert testimony; 4. Does history have any legal relevance in international criminal trials?; 5. From monumental history to micro-histories; 6. Exoneration and mitigation in defense histories; 7. Misjudging Rwandan society and history at the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda; 8. Permanent justice: the international criminal court; 9. Conclusion: new directions in international criminal trials.

Editorial Reviews

"This book... is not simply an academic analysis of historical claims in international criminal trials, although it is that too. More significantly, it is an examination of how seemingly extra-legal concerns become a necessary part of legal practice. Given that international criminal trials can never be simply about international criminal law, the book examines what is lost and what is gained when historical claims enter the picture. This is an issue of great interest for anyone interested in the principles of due process, as well as the relative justice of international criminal law." Tobias Kelly Journal of Human Rights Practice