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The performance of justice? Scenic anthropology and the role of victims in courtrooms

Tine Destrooper (UGent)
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Abstract
International courts have long struggled to make their work relevant and accessible to the public in the countries they serve. The striking lack of local knowledge and support in the case of the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals, for example, led to a renewed attention to questions of localization. The participation of victims in international criminal justice processes soon became a crucial part of the answers offered by most scholars and practitioners. As a consequence, victims of international crimes were increasingly drawn into this international criminal justice process, as witnesses, civil parties or to tender evidence. The many arguments in favor of this increased victim participation broadly fall into three categories: epistemological (i.e. it facilitates bi-directional knowledge-sharing), emancipatory (i.e. it empowers and capacitate these victims) and responsiveness of the justice process (i.e. it increases local relevance and legitimacy). Increasingly though, critical voices are questioning the extent to which victim participation has the capacity to fulfill these ambitious goals, even partly. Most of these analyses of victim participation however, only analyze the presence of victims in courtrooms in terms of its legal-technical dimensions (i.e. does it fit into the existing structures and what is the legal basis for this), or by focusing on the discourses to which participants are exposed (i.e. how do legal narratives shape victims’ understandings of their own lived experiences). In this article I argue that, to arrive at a more multi-dimensional and nuanced understanding of the impact of victim participation on the justice process, we need an analysis rooted in ‘scenic anthropology’.
Keywords
HRC, criminal justice, transitional justice, victim participation, representational acting, the scenic

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MLA
Destrooper, Tine. “The Performance of Justice? Scenic Anthropology and the Role of Victims in Courtrooms.” Ed. Phil Cameron. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE RULE OF LAW : COURTROOM PROCEDURES, JUDICIAL LINGUISTICS & LEGAL ENGLISH 2.1 (2018): 108–126. Print.
APA
Destrooper, T. (2018). The performance of justice? Scenic anthropology and the role of victims in courtrooms. (P. Cameron, Ed.)INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE RULE OF LAW : COURTROOM PROCEDURES, JUDICIAL LINGUISTICS & LEGAL ENGLISH, 2(1), 108–126.
Chicago author-date
Destrooper, Tine. 2018. “The Performance of Justice? Scenic Anthropology and the Role of Victims in Courtrooms.” Ed. Phil Cameron. International Journal for the Rule of Law : Courtroom Procedures, Judicial Linguistics & Legal English 2 (1): 108–126.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Destrooper, Tine. 2018. “The Performance of Justice? Scenic Anthropology and the Role of Victims in Courtrooms.” Ed. Phil Cameron. International Journal for the Rule of Law : Courtroom Procedures, Judicial Linguistics & Legal English 2 (1): 108–126.
Vancouver
1.
Destrooper T. The performance of justice? Scenic anthropology and the role of victims in courtrooms. Cameron P, editor. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE RULE OF LAW : COURTROOM PROCEDURES, JUDICIAL LINGUISTICS & LEGAL ENGLISH. The International Journal for the Rule of Law, Courtroom Procedures, Judicial Linguistics & Legal English; 2018;2(1):108–26.
IEEE
[1]
T. Destrooper, “The performance of justice? Scenic anthropology and the role of victims in courtrooms,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE RULE OF LAW : COURTROOM PROCEDURES, JUDICIAL LINGUISTICS & LEGAL ENGLISH, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 108–126, 2018.
@article{8609770,
  abstract     = {International courts have long struggled to make their work relevant and accessible to the public in the countries they serve. The striking lack of local knowledge and support in the case of the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals, for example, led to a renewed attention to questions of localization. The participation of victims in international criminal justice processes soon became a crucial part of the answers offered by most scholars and practitioners. As a consequence, victims of international crimes were increasingly drawn into this international criminal justice process, as witnesses, civil parties or to tender evidence. The many arguments in favor of this increased victim participation broadly fall into three categories: epistemological (i.e. it facilitates bi-directional knowledge-sharing), emancipatory (i.e. it empowers and capacitate these victims) and responsiveness of the justice process (i.e. it increases local relevance and legitimacy). Increasingly though, critical voices are questioning the extent to which victim participation has the capacity to fulfill these ambitious goals, even partly. Most of these analyses of victim participation however, only analyze the presence of victims in courtrooms in terms of its legal-technical dimensions (i.e. does it fit into the existing structures and what is the legal basis for this), or by focusing on the discourses to which participants are exposed (i.e. how do legal narratives shape victims’ understandings of their own lived experiences). In this article I argue that, to arrive at a more multi-dimensional and nuanced understanding of the impact of victim participation on the justice process, we need an analysis rooted in ‘scenic anthropology’.},
  author       = {Destrooper, Tine},
  editor       = {Cameron, Phil},
  issn         = {2637-8299},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE RULE OF LAW : COURTROOM PROCEDURES, JUDICIAL LINGUISTICS & LEGAL ENGLISH},
  keywords     = {HRC,criminal justice,transitional justice,victim participation,representational acting,the scenic},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {108--126},
  publisher    = {The International Journal for the Rule of Law, Courtroom Procedures, Judicial Linguistics & Legal English},
  title        = {The performance of justice? Scenic anthropology and the role of victims in courtrooms},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2018},
}