The Tomašica mass grave and the trial of Ratko Mladić
This article focuses on the judicial consideration of the scientific analysis of the Tomašica mass grave, in the Prijedor municipality of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Often referred to as the largest mass grave in Europe since the Second World War, this grave was fully discovered in September 2013 and the scientific evidence gathered was included in the prosecution of Ratko Mladić before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Based on the exhaustive analysis of all the publicly available trial transcripts, this article presents how the Tomašica evidence proved symptomatic of the way in which forensic sciences and international criminal justice intertwine and of the impact of the former over the latter on the admissibility of evidence, the conduct of proceedings and the qualification of the crimes perpetrated.
the organisation’s public advocacy ( Binet,
2010 : 148). This soon resulted in the establishment of an epidemiology
unit within MSF, Epicentre , leading to what some have called the
rise of the ‘expertwitness’ ( Givoni, 2011 ).
The témoin Turns an Advocate
The Biafra war (1967–70) spawned modern humanitarianism, where for the first
time private aid groups breached state borders to provide assistance and publically
Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.
, however, and not all testimony was free from equivocation. As early as 1311 one finds the appearance
of specialist witnesses, called to the court to draw their own inferences regarding ambiguous observations. Saddled with the unfortunate name of ‘expertwitnesses’, these persons were thought to possess knowledge beyond the ken
of the ordinary lay person.4 Because their job description ran perilously close
to that of the jurors’ in that they also drew inferences and rendered opinions,
the use of expertwitnesses has historically provoked disquiet among members
The politics of exhumation in post-genocide Rwanda
between Rwanda and Bosnia. Whatever the
truth behind this decision, the absence of forensic studies during the
trials conducted by the ICTR after 1996 weakened the cases brought
by the Prosecutor’s Office, who were thus forced to change their initial strategy.
Lastly, certain criticisms have been made regarding the scientific
methods employed by Bill Haglund and the PHR team despatched
to Kibuye and the Amgar Garage. These criticisms often emanated
from defence lawyers, but also from some expertwitnesses called by
the defence teams of the ICTR and the ICTY. Indeed, it
of Lords International Relations Committee, which produced a report on the UK’s
relationship with the Middle East entitled Time for a New Realism. In this role I was
involved in selecting expertwitnesses and writing questions for witness sessions. The
committee drew expert testimony from ambassadors, civil society leaders, academics,
policymakers, and a round table of ‘young people’. I have not included any confidential
material or referred to private sessions of the committee.
At times, this book seeks to offer a historiography of claims to sovereignty, yet it
realm of the ‘expertwitness’. This figure was
reasonably well known to the Victorian court 51 and, as we have seen, these gentlemen were
there, commenting (Monckton) and reporting (Stewart). Such evidence was
admissible only in so far as the court perceived it as contributing to the
testing of the ‘coherence’ and ‘plausibility’ of the narrative they had been
invited to support, but for the public gathered there (and it is their
century so did the level of awareness of
criminality and pathology, as well as competency in reading such cases.
This was partly because in Germany after 1850 legal trials were opened
to the public and newspapers were able to report cases of interest with
greater fidelity. Moreover, literary writers were – with permission of the
court – able to gain access to court materials and ground their own crime
narratives in more reliable sources of empirical evidence, such as evidence
presented at trials, as well as expertwitness statements.42 With the advent
terrible doodler’, its editors were duped well enough to award
him a prize of ten shillings. The contest cashed in on a worldwide
craze for doodling in the late 1930s following Frank Capra’s 1936
film Mr Deeds Goes to Town. A comedy, this revolves around Gary
Cooper’s amateur musician outsmarting city-slickers set to steal
his inherited fortune. Charged that his obsessional tuba-playing
is a symptom of insanity he argues that everyone has harmless
illogical pastimes, which are even evident here, in the courtroom.
The judge, for example, is an ‘O-filler’,15 and the expert
Robert Boyce’s chapter focuses on the last of these.
It is perhaps fitting that, having begun with a chapter focusing upon the
‘external influence’ of lawyers in trials, we turn to a chapter focusing on the
comparable role of history. Prior to Papon’s trial, commentators perceived it
as an opportunity for history. They believed it would expose and dispel the
lingering demon of France’s wartime experiences, as well as educate a new
generation in the dangers of anti-semitism. Historians were recruited to participate in the process as expertwitnesses, drawing on their