Transparency, Meaning and Truth – Challenges in Victim Advocacy Before the International Criminal Court

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Date(s) - 15 May 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room N302, Menzies Building, Monash University

Elizabeth King

One of the key challenges for the victim legal advocate who represents clients before the International Criminal Court is to adduce, reflect and seek meaning on behalf of their victim client. The challenge is to convey with clarity the position of an individual who has suffered from war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. This challenge is heightened by the complexity of proceedings, the formalistic juridical paradigm in which the victim advocate must operate and ultimately by the limitations of language itself.

This paper will explore ways in which potential opacities may be navigated. The paper will advance that the victim advocate needs to conquer an ultimate paradox in order to best represent their client. This ‘sublimation paradox’ requires the advocate to exercise fundamental legal advocacy skills whilst simultaneously adopting more subtle interdisciplinary understandings that allow for the client’s experience to be robustly and properly told.

Elizabeth (Liz) King is a barrister and academic. She has practised widely in public law matters and is a current member of the International Criminal Court’s List of Counsel. Liz is currently researching her doctoral thesis in international criminal law at the Castan Centre, Monash Law School. She is the co-editor of two forthcoming books on global and transitional justice: Victim Advocacy before the ICC (Springer Publishing) and In Memoriam: An examination of memorialisation in transitional justice (Wolf Legal Publishing). Liz has taught at tertiary level in public international law, international humanitarian law, criminal justice and legal advocacy. She currently teaches in Human Rights Theory, the Ethics of Global Conflict and International Crime and Justice.

Thursday 15th May 1-2 pm, Room N302
(3rd Floor, Menzies Building, Monash University Clayton)

RSVP to by Tuesday 13th March

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