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Expression of Justice or Political Trial?: Discursive Battles in the Karadžić Case
Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the discourses of prosecution and defense in the case of Radovan Karadžíc before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. It focuses on what happens in the courtroom—a site mostly neglected in the literature on transitional justice—and the consequences courtroom discourses may have for societies in transition. Our theoretical point of departure is the concept of "expressivism," which is an attempt to theorize courts' potential to send messages as a key feature in thinking about the relationship between normative legitimacy, support, and utility of international trials. We conclude that the defense by Karadžíc disrupts and thwarts the pedagogical messaging intended by expressivism to a considerable extent, and reflect on the generalizability of our findings by considering the elements of the actors, audiences, and the stage in the posited "courtroom drama."