Jeffries, Lesley (2016) “When did you decide to tell the truth?” Negotiating truth in rape trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 4 (2). pp. 151-177. ISSN 2213-1272

Whilst there has been much investigation of courtroom testimony and other
linguistic aspects of legal process, there has been little consideration of the linguistic
basis of war crimes tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which provides the data for this article. The
testimony of witnesses in ICTY rape trials is investigated to discover how their
examination by counsel may affect these alleged victims of a brutal war. The
approach taken is textual as well as discoursal, focusing on the co-construction
of meaning between counsel and witnesses — and its failures. The frequent meta
discussions about the nature of truth in the testimony shows up some disjunction
between the parties in their understanding of the process they are engaged
in, leading to the conclusion that the witnesses may have been ‘revictimised’

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