Toward improved understanding and interaction between forensic science and international criminal law in the context of transitional justice.
This source preferred by Melanie Klinkner
Authors: Klinkner, M.J.
International criminal justice-is part of a coordinated effort to achieve transitional justice in response to social trauma, human rights' abuses, mass atrocities, civil war and genocide. Criticaliy, criminal trials are believed to contribute to a notion oftruth through producing a record of the causes of conflicts, the responsible actors and parties, as well as the events. As part of its criminal investigations, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) employed multi-disciplinary forensic teams to excavate mass graves and examine the human remains to discern information regarding the victims and the events that preceded their deaths. It thus contributed to two notions of 'forensic truth': firstly, through generating findings related to an individual level, questions such as 'what happened to an individual, where, when and how?' were answered; and secondly information about the reasons, circumstances and patterns of the eveRts=leading to the creation of mass graves was-ascertained. Focusing upon the ICTY and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the research explores the reasons for, potential, values, theoretical and practical aspects of the interaction between international criminal law and forensic science evidence from mass graves. Thirty in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with carefully selected individuals experienced in prosecution, defence, forensic investigation or crime scene investigation, relating to either of these selected case studies. After thorough analysis of the iRterviewdata alongside secondary materials, including relevant previous research, case law, trial transcripts and documents relating to the case studies, the study makes three original and significant contributions to knowledge: firstly, the research provides an assessment of the value forensic science evidence from mass graves holds within the ICTY and ECCC's transitional justise efforts. Secondly, it outlines the conceptual and theoretical challenges that occur as part of the 'forensic science-international criminal law relationship', thus relating traditional law-science debates to a yet unexplored context. Thirdly, with reference to exchange theory, the research produces recommendations to improve practical aspects that arise during the interaction between legal, investigative and forensic practitioners throughout forensic science investigations into mass graves for international criminal prosecutions.