Sights, Sounds, and Sensibilities of Atrocity Prosecutions

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This book unlocks the look, sound, smell, taste, and feel of justice for massive human rights abuses. Twenty-nine expert authors examine the dynamics of the five human senses in how atrocity is perceived, remembered, and condemned. This book is chockful of images. It serves up remarkably diverse content. It treks around the globe: from Pacific war crimes trials in the aftermath of the Second World War to Holocaust proceedings in contemporary Germany, France, and Israel; from absurd show trials in Communist Czechoslovakia to international courtrooms in Arusha, Phnom Penh, and The Hague. Readers embark on a journey that transcends myriad dimensions, including photographic representations of grandfatherly old torturers in Argentina, narco-trafficking in Mexico, colonialisation in India, disinformation and misinformation pixelated in cyberspace, environmental degradation in Cambodia, militarism in Northern Ireland, and civil rights activism in Atlanta. Sights, Sounds, and Sensibilities of Atrocity Prosecutions reimagines what an atrocity means, reconsiders what drives the manufacture of law, and reboots the role of courtrooms and other mechanisms in the pursuit of justice. It unveils how law translates sensory experience into its procedures and institutions, and how humanistic inputs shape perceptions of right and wrong. This book thereby offers a refreshing primer on the underappreciated role of aesthetics, time, and emotion in the world of law.

Drumbl and Fournet have done us all a great service in knitting together – in a single, powerfully imagined, volume – these essays about how we might experience the institutionalisation of judgment in atrocity trials.
– Gerry Simpson, Professor of Public International Law, LSE Law School (London).

Contributions to this volume offer a unique opportunity to delve into law’s hidden landscape using the primary reality of the five senses.
– Marina Aksenova, Assistant Professor in Comparative and International Criminal Law, IE Law School (Madrid).

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Mark A. Drumbl (J.S.D., 2002, Columbia University), is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director of the Transnational Law Institute at Washington and Lee University.

Caroline Fournet, (Ph.D., 2003, Faculty of Law, University of Leicester) is Professor of Law at the University of Exeter, UK.
“This book asks a remarkable and deceptively simple question: How do we hear, taste, smell, feel, and see justice? Mark Drumbl and Caroline Fournet have done us all a great service in knitting together – in a single, powerfully imagined, volume – these essays about how we might experience the institutionalisation of judgment in atrocity trials. Reams have been written on the intellectual, juridical and ethical response to war crimes or crimes against humanity. This unusual – singular – book describes our emotional and aesthetic relations to these terrible wrongs and the forms of politico-legal reckonings that attempt to come to terms with them.”
Gerry Simpson, Professor of Public International Law, LSE Law School (London).

“Law is inherently multidimensional. It is not just an analytical tool for achieving social order, accountability or reconciliation, but it is also one of the filters through which reality is perceived and processed. The initial absorption happens naturally through the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Contributions to this volume offer a unique opportunity to delve into law’s hidden landscape using the primary reality of the five senses. The entire volume makes surgically precise incision on the body of international law as we know it.”
Marina Aksenova, Assistant Professor in Comparative and International Criminal Law, IE Law School (Madrid).
Readers interested in public international law, criminal law, transitional justice, memorialisation of atrocities, theatre and staging, legal history, aesthetics, linguistics, and philosophy.
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