Emotions, Truth and Justice: Shared and Collective Emotions in Transitional justice
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Contemporary reports from the courtrooms of international tribunals and from truth commissions provide compelling examples of how both victims and perpetrators perceive Transitional Justice (TJ) procedures as spaces to express and share emotions. They address audiences within the courtroom as well as the wider public, their own as well as the group of the other. A woman who testified before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) knowing that this would be broadcast stated: »I wanted the world to see my tears«.1 At the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a woman wanted to confront her neighbours: »I wanted to see (them) ... and ask them why they did it«. Jeffery provides a haunting report of the expression of anger from the trial of prison commander Duch at the Extraordinary Chambers in the CourtS of Cambodia (ECCC), when the brother of a victim and one of the civil parties to the trial addressed the defendant directly: »I have wanted to smash you ... «3 It caused uproar, when Biljana Plavsic, the former President of the Republika Srpska, who had been sentenced for crimes against humanity, later publicly retracted her expression of remorse and apology that she had given in court; it was seen as playing games with the emotions of victims. 4 At a recent trial of a former guard and accountant in Auschwitz in Germany, one of the victims and civil parties present reached out to the defendant in a gesture of reconciliation, and offered forgiveness.5 Numerous reporrs from the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg, and later follow-up trials equally testify to the salience of emotions in these trials, perhaps best epitomised by US journalists like Martha Gellhorn, who covered the IMT at Nuremberg; she felt »shame as a human being« when she saw footage from liberated concentration camps.6
Recht und Emotion I: Verkannte Zusammenhange
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Psychology not elsewhere classified