Evidence About Harm : Dual Status Victim Participant Testimony at the International Criminal Court and the Straitjacketing of Narratives About Suffering
D’hondt, S., Pérez-León-Acevedo, J.-P., Ferraz de Almeida, F., & Barrett, E. (2022). Evidence About Harm : Dual Status Victim Participant Testimony at the International Criminal Court and the Straitjacketing of Narratives About Suffering. Criminal Law Forum, 33(3), 191-232. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10609-022-09442-8
Published inCriminal Law Forum
© 2022 the Authors.
Although victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC) are not parties, they can apply to become “victim participants” and may be authorized by an ICC Chamber to directly and orally express their views and concerns in court. Most ICC Trial Chambers, however, have preferred allowing legal representatives of these victim participants to call victims as witnesses to give testimonial evidence about the harm they suffered. Our article focuses on the practical-epistemological challenges that come with forcing accounts of harm into this testimony-format. We draw upon ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to elucidate the discursive techniques by which legal actors in the Ongwen trial manage these challenges. These include eliciting accounts that “exhibit” suffering, posing questions that transform the “inner self” into an object of inquiry, and approaching witnesses as “informal experts”. Furthermore, while questioning related to establishing criminal liability typically proceeds in a granular fashion, testimony-taking about harm is accompanied by a tolerance for extended answers and an orientation to narrativity. ...
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingAcademy of Finland, project number 325535 (“Negotiating International criminal law: A courtroom ethnography of trial performance at the International Criminal Court”, 2019–2023). Open Access funding provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU).
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