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    In the face of epistemic injustices?: on the meaning of people-led war crimes tribunals


    Boyle, Mark (2015) In the face of epistemic injustices?: on the meaning of people-led war crimes tribunals. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33. pp. 697-713. ISSN 0263-7758

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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to render intelligible the meaning of the vibrant tradition of people-led war crimes tribunals (PWCTs) which has emerged in the past half a century. Drawing upon recent postcolonial critiques of extant literature on geographies of care and responsibility, and informed by Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), we question the capacity of the international legal system to provide justice for ‘others’ (especially subaltern and colonised communities) at a distance. We situate PWCTs in the context of the claim that the international legal system is systemically contaminated because it is conceptually Western. We interrogate the seminal Russell Tribunal on Vietnam (1966–67) and in so doing are led to place under scrutiny the postcolonial and dialectical ethics which characterised the work of French philosopher, literary giant, and political activist Jean-Paul Sartre before, during, and after his tenure as Executive President of this tribunal. We argue that insofar as PWCTs speak subaltern truth to power, they work to decentre the Western ethical, legal, and juridical canon and confront insidious epistemic injustices. We conclude that any search for a postcolonial ethics to guide caring from afar can both inform and be informed by PWCTs.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Jean-Paul Sartre; people-led war crimes tribunals; Russell Tribunal; postcolonial geography; law; ethics; Vietnam;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 8694
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263775815598101
    Depositing User: Mark Boyle
    Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 11:39
    Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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