International Criminal Justice: Prosecution, Trials and Knowledge

9 Oct 2023 to 20 Oct 2023

Course in the Module "Sociology of Crime and Deviance" (3 ECTS)

This course addresses degrees and ways in which criminal prosecutions and trials shape public perceptions and collective memories of grave violations of human rights. Part I provides an overview of the basic themes of this course and their interconnection: atrocities, legal and other institutional responses, and effects, including cultural effects. Part II covers a series of cases in which responses to past atrocities included criminal prosecution and trials: the Holocaust, the IMT and related trials; the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the ICTY; the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War and a US Court Martial; the genocidal violence in the Darfur region of Sudan and the ICC; contemporary legal and legislative struggles over the memory of the Armenian genocide of 1915; and ongoing NGO-prosecutorial cooperation in gathering evidence on and prosecuting repression and human rights violations in Syria. Each session will be introduced by lecture that provides background on the theme or case. This will be followed by groups of two or three students posing discussion questions for collective engagement. In the end, each student will be expected to apply core ideas from this course to a case of their choice that was not covered in class in a 2500-word paper. Grades will be based on class participation and group-based preparation of discussion questions (15%), learning diary consisting of notes on readings and class discussions (2000 words, 40%), and a final essay of 2,500 words (45%).