Chair: Cheryl Lawther
Human Rights Abuses and Dealing with the Past: Agency, Legitimacy and Authenticity
Author: Lawther Cheryl, Queen's University Belfast
Title: Making (In?)Visible: Aesthe tics, Agency and Ownership in Sites of Dark Tourism
Whether it is a war crime, murder, a site of mass killing, or an assassination site, those places and spaces associated with death and disaster command our attention. In such dark sites, images and artefacts are connected with fascination and horror, and in turn, are frequently recorded and photographed by tourists. Accordingly, much of the literature on ‘dark tourism’ concentrates on the visitor experience and curatorial practices. Yet representations of traumatic loss and large-scale victimisation are not merely about aesthetic concerns, but are bound up with the politics of memory and testimony and our capacity to ‘hear’ the voice of victims. Moreover, what is celebrated, interpreted and developed is inevitably selective. We may ask, as Strauss has done, ‘What right have I to represent you’? Drawing on critical victimology and criminological aesthetics, this paper critically interrogates the intersection between victim voice and visibility and aesthetics, agency and ownership in sites of dark tourism. The paper draws on qualitative fieldwork conducted in Cambodia in early 2018 (site visits and over 30 semi-structured interviews). The paper argues that the voice of victims, their visibility and authentic representations of the past are frequently absent in Cambodia’s sites of ‘dark tourism’. While speaking specifically to the Cambodian experience, the conclusions from this paper are of relevance to other transitional and post-conflict societies more broadly.
Keywords: Victims, Victimology, Dark Tourism
Author: Moffett Luke, Queen's University Belfast
Rachel Killean, Queen's University Belfast
Title: Adequate and Appropriate Reparations for Crimes Against Humanity: the Experiences of the International Criminal Court and Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Reparations, rooted in human rights law and transitional justice, are intended to acknowledge and remedy the suffering of victims. Yet the mass victimisation caused by crimes against humanity raises theoretical and practical questions around the ability of reparations to adequately and appropriately respond to victims’ suffering. This paper discusses these questions in the context of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). In particular the paper critically reflects on how the two courts have attempted to reify reparations in the face of thousands of victims and indigent accused. It highlights the different approaches adopted by the two courts, exploring the promises and pitfalls of the ICC’s Trust Fund and the ECCC’s donor driven process. Drawing on field research and interviews with victims, legal representatives and civil society, the paper develops a theoretical construction of what adequate and appropriate reparations should look like.
Keywords: Reparations, victims, ECCC, ICC
Author: Dempster Lauren, Queen's University Belfast
Title: ‘Quiet’ Transitional Justice: Trust, Legitimacy, and Recovering the ‘Disappeared’
The notion of 'quietness' contrasts with some of the images most-associated with Transitional Justice (TJ). Indeed, at first glance 'quietness' may seem at odds with some of the more widely understood principles or aims of TJ, such as openness, transparency, acknowledgement and the leaving behind of secrecy and silence. However, in this paper I introduce the notion of ‘Quiet’ Transitional Justice, a term I use to describe the behind-the-scenes efforts and processes that – although currently insufficiently scrutinised - should be understood as part of the fabric of TJ. The quiet nature of these processes raises many questions, including questions around trust and legitimacy. This paper will address some of these questions, while arguing that developing processes quietly can have a pragmatic value that should be more fully understood. This paper will examine one manifestation of what I have termed 'quiet' TJ: the establishment of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), set up to recover the remains of those ‘disappeared’ as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Drawing on archival evidence and interviews gathered between 2012 and 2017, it is argued that quiet diplomatic efforts in the development of the legislation, and the ‘quiet’ passage of that legislation, facilitated the development of a mechanism which has, to a large extent, been effective, facilitated the development of trust, and can be argued to have legitimacy.
Keywords: Disappeared, quiet transitional justice, trust