Testimony and Accountability: Witnessing and Observing in War Crimes Tribunals and Truth Commissions
Date and Location TBA
The talk will discuss the role of observers/monitors and witnesses in international and national criminal tribunals in Indonesia, Cambodia, East Timor, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. Witness testimony plays a central role in tribunals and truth commissions, but numerous problems arise in evaluating witness testimony as well as in connection with the experience of witnesses in interaction with these institutions. Drawing on experience from a number of past or ongoing justice processes in the aftermath of mass atrocity we will examine how the reception and experience of witnessing differs in various contexts, from closed to open hearings, from victim to insider testimony, and from investigation to trial.
David Cohen is Professor in the Graduate School at UC Berkeley, Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He has worked on transitional justice issues, monitored war crimes or human trials, and engaged in judicial capacity building programs in East Timor, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. He has also served as Expert Advisor to the Truth and Friendship Commission of Indonesia and East Timor and works closely with a number of NGOs and university human rights centers in Southeast Asia. His research focuses on war crimes trials and transitional justice from WWII to today.
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