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Fact-Finding without Facts

Fact-Finding without Facts The Uncertain Evidentiary Foundations of International Criminal Convictions

  • Author:
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 9781107699717
  • Published In: May 2013
  • Format: Paperback , 434 pages
  • Jurisdiction: International ? Disclaimer:
    Countri(es) stated herein are used as reference only

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  • Description 
  • Contents 
  • Author 
  • Details

    Fact-Finding Without Facts explores international criminal fact-finding - empirically, conceptually, and normatively. After reviewing thousands of pages of transcripts from various international criminal tribunals, the author reveals that international criminal trials are beset by numerous and severe fact-finding impediments that substantially impair the tribunals' ability to determine who did what to whom. These fact-finding impediments have heretofore received virtually no publicity, let alone scholarly treatment, and they are deeply troubling not only because they raise grave concerns about the accuracy of the judgments currently being issued but because they can be expected to similarly impair the next generation of international trials that will be held at the International Criminal Court. After setting forth her empirical findings, the author considers their conceptual and normative implications. The author concludes that international criminal tribunals purport a fact-finding competence that they do not possess and, as a consequence, base their judgments on a less precise, more amorphous method of fact-finding than they publicly acknowledge.

    • Considers ways that fact-finding accuracy can be improved in international criminal tribunals

    • Explores international criminal fact-finding - empirically, conceptually, and normatively

    • Based on the review of thousands of pages of transcripts from various international criminal tribunals

  • Acknowledgments
    xi
    Introduction
    1
    1       The Evidence Supporting International Criminal Convictions
    11
    1.A.    The Prevalence of Eyewitness Testimony
    11
    1.B.    The Limitations of Eyewitness Testimony
    14
    2       Questions Unanswered: International Witnesses and the Information Unconveyed
    21
    2.A.    International Witnesses and Their Inability to Answer Who, What, Where, or When Questions
    22
    2.A.i.  Dates
    24
    2.A.ii. Duration
    27
    2.A.iii.Distance
    29
    2.A.iv. Numerical Estimations
    33
    2.A.v.  Two-Dimensional Representations
    36
    2.A.vi. Important Details
    38
    2.A.vii.Court Procedures
    39
    2.A.viii.Summary
    43
    2.B.    Questions and Answers: A Different Sort of Communication Breakdown
    44
    3       The Educational, Linguistic, and Cultural Impediments to Accurate Fact-Finding at the International Tribunals
    63
    3.A.    Education, Literacy, and Life Experiences
    63
    3.B.    Interpretation Errors
    66
    3.C.    Cultural Divergences
    79
    3.D.    Education, Interpretation, and Culture: Innocent Explanations or Concealment Techniques?
    100
    3.E.    Summary
    105
    4       Of Inconsistencies and Their Explanations
    106
    4.A.    The Nature of the Inconsistencies
    106
    4.B.    The Prevalence of the Inconsistencies
    118
    4.C.    The Causes of the Inconsistencies
    122
    5       Perjury: The Counternarrative
    130
    5.A.    A Cultural Component to Perjury?
    131
    5.B.    Perjury Incentives
    135
    5.C.    The Incidence of Perjury at the International Tribunals
    149
    6       Expectations Unfulfilled: The Consequences of the Fact-Finding Impediments
    167
    7       Casual Indifference: The Trial Chambers’ Treatment of Testimonial Deficiencies
    189
    7.A.    The Trial Chambers’ Lackadaisical Attitude Toward Testimonial Deficiencies
    190
    7.B.    Evidentiary Bases Exposed: The CDF Judgment
    203
    7.B.i.  A Brief Summary of the Case
    203
    7.B.ii. Crimes Committed in the Towns of Tongo Field
    204
    7.B.iii.Crimes Committed in Koribondo
    206
    7.B.iv. Crimes Committed in the Bo District
    212
    7.B.v.  Crimes Committed in the Bonthe District
    212
    7.B.vi. Crimes Committed at Talia
    214
    7.B.vii.Crimes Committed in the Moyamba District
    215
    7.B.viii.The Enlistment or Use of Child Soldiers
    216
    7.B.ix. The Underlying Crimes
    219
    7.B.x.  Summary
    220
    7.C.    Summary and Statistics: International Criminal Trials and the Culture of Conviction
    220
    8       Organizational Liability Revived: The Pro-Conviction Bias Explained
    224
    8.A.    The Politics of Acquittals
    225
    8.B.    Judicial Backgrounds
    234
    8.C.    The Lure of Organizational Liability
    235
    8.C.i.  Organizational Liability as an Evidentiary Proxy
    236
    8.C.ii. Explaining the Acquittals by Evidentiary Proxies
    254
    8.C.iii.Summary
    271
    9       Help Needed: Practical Suggestions and Procedural Reforms to Improve Fact-Finding Accuracy
    273
    9.A.    Improving That Which Already Exists: Small-Scale Adaptations to Existing Procedures
    274
    9.A.i.  Language Interpretation
    276
    9.A.ii. Investigations
    277
    9.A.iii.On-Site Visits
    281
    9.B.    Publicizing and Punishing Perjury
    282
    9.C.    Large-Scale Procedural Reforms
    285
    9.C.i.  The Case for Contextualization
    286
    9.C.ii. International Criminal Procedures: Uniformity in the Face of Diversity
    289
    9.C.iii.Considering Context through the Importation of Domestic Procedures
    297
    9.C.iv. The Choice between Adversarial and Nonadversarial Methods of Evidence Presentation
    302
    9.D.    Reducing the Impact of Testimonial Deficiencies and Aligning Stated and Actual Conviction Justifications Through the Use of Associational Doctrines
    321
    10      Assessing the Status Quo: They Are Not Doing What They Say They Are Doing, but Is What They Are Doing Worth Doing?
    334
    10.A.   The Adequacy of Inferences
    335
    10.B.   The Close-Enough Approach to Fact-Finding
    339
    10.C.   Reconceptualizing the Standard of Proof
    343
    Conclusion
    365
    Bibliography
    375
    Index
    409
  • Nancy A. Combs
    College of William & Mary School of Law

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