How do genocide and war crimes survivors become legal witnesses?
Some fifty years after the criminal prosecutions of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals of World War Two, we have yet to fully understand how law codifies the traumas of genocides and war crimes. This problem has taken on a new importance following the establishment of the international criminal tribunals in the 1990s, as well as an increasing concern with the appropriate legal resolution of war crimes in post-conflict societies such as Iraq.
Against this background, Testifying to Trauma examines the processes by which victims’ narratives of trauma become legal testimony: investigating how the transformation of individual trauma into a codified collective violation has ramifications for individual, collective and legal identities. More specifically, this book addresses the historical and political contexts of the current legal codifications of trauma. And, through detailed attention to the various renderings of time and memory which underwrite the dissonance between personal experiences and legal narratives of trauma, its authors provide an original analysis and understanding of the technologies through which trauma is codified in international law.