The Professional Middle Class in Afghanistan: From Pivot of Development to Political Marginality

This essay explores the various efforts to create an Afghan middle class through three periods: first under the Musahiban dynasty (until 1973) and republic (1973–1978), second during the communist period and Soviet intervention (1978–1992), and lastly since the United States-led invasion in 2001. Drawing on archival research and oral histories, the authors place the development programs of each era into broader context, while pointing to the similarities and differences. The authors also compare the Cold War period, when state-led modernization was in vogue, and the Continue reading → Continue reading →

Empire, Resistance, and Security: International Law and the Transformative Occupation of Palestine

In this essay, I identify and examine the legal-rhetorical mode of reasoning that justifies colonial-transformative occupations by legitimizing the repression of indigenous resistance via appeals to self-defense. The discretionary power authorized by the law of occupation in defence of the occupant’s security becomes, in the hands of a prolonged occupying power with territorial ambitions, the door through which an entire cart and horses of colonial apparatus can be driven. The essay traces this mode of reasoning since the early modern period, and exemplifies it in Continue reading → Continue reading →

Times of Reckoning: History, Evidence and Truth-making after Yugoslavia

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. The idea that we are in a “post-truth” era is lately on everyone’s lips. The popular, scholarly and comedic analyses of Donald Trump’s ambivalent relationship to facticity would already fill volumes.[1] Yet the instability of meaning and the uncomfortable fit between denotational content and interpretive frameworks are not Continue reading →

“The Judgement Is not Made Now; The Judgement Will Be Made in the Future”: “Politically Motivated” Defence Lawyers and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda”s “Historical Record”

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. In December 2014, after twenty years of operation, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) delivered its last appeal judgment. Established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council, the ICTR was tasked with putting on trial any person accused of committing the following in Rwanda in Continue reading →

Forensic Truth? Scientific evidence in international criminal justice

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. Truth and justice are distinct concepts. Yet, recent years have witnessed the emergence and gradual recognition of the right to the truth. If it first was invoked in connection with the crime of enforced disappearances, this right is progressively becoming generic and self-standing. It has been defined by Continue reading →

Deconstructing the Epistemic Challenges to Mass Atrocity Prosecutions

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. This post briefly summarizes a full-length law review article that will appear in volume 75 of the Washington & Lee Law Review. International criminal law faces unprecedented challenges. Some of these challenges generate widespread publicity whereas others are less well-publicized but just as concerning. The not-very-well-publicized challenge that Continue reading →

Truth Beyond the ICC

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here.  As the Ongwen trial has made clear, the significance that international criminal trials have for the production of truth resides not only in the narratives forged within the courtroom but also in the impact trials have on the political discourses and practices around the trial. In the Uganda Continue reading →

The ICC, Dominic Ongwen, and the Politics of Truth

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. The trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court has thrown into relief the difficulties of seeking truth through international criminal trials. The ICC prosecution has constructed a series of narratives in order to establish the legitimacy of Ongwen’s trial, narratives that Continue reading →

International Criminal Tribunals as Epistemic Engines Or Why Legal Truth Is Not Sui Generis

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. Introduction[1] International criminal tribunals (ICTs) are epistemic engines. That is, they are institutions that systematically produce knowledge or find truths. And they do so not only in the way usually recognised in doctrinal scholarly works on international criminal law, i.e. in the sense emphasized, e.g., by the ICTR Continue reading →

Archives of Knowledge: Power, Ownership and Contestation at the ICTR’s Archive

This post is part of a symposium, Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. All currently available contributions to the symposium can be found here. A PDF of this post can be downloaded here. Archives are sites of power, contestation, and control. The very term archive derives from the ancient Greek word arkeion, which referred to the magistrates (archons) house where official records were kept and protected. The magistrate drew their power through protecting, controlling and interpreting these records in order to Continue reading →