Trauma on Trial: Survival and Witnessing at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

  • Julia Viebach


This chapter explores the silences and the gaps that cut through witness testimonies at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) by applying a trauma lens to the narratives that emerge on the witness stand and by contrasting those with a survivor testimony. It compares the recollection of a traumatic experience with the production of legal meaning. To do so, it focuses on a survivor testimony shared with the author at the Rwandan Nyange memorial in 2014 where the crimes in question happened and an ICTR trial that relates to the events at that site. This chapter shows that the experience of trauma not only challenges the language of law but also blurs the legal narratives and functions of tribunals like the ICTR.


Trauma Narratives Testimony Witness International criminal trials Rwanda 


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Cases Cited

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Viebach
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Law, Centre for CriminologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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