October 27, 2011

Shakespeare and War Crimes Trials

Will Fitzgibbon, Australian National University College of Law, has published Visions of Justice: Shakespeare and Duch’s Proposed ‘Return to Humanity’. Here is the abstract.

Completed in the first half of 2010, this thesis received a First Class and was supervised by Professor Margaret Thornton. This article provides an analysis of the story and the trial of the Khmer Rouge official, Kaing Geuk Eav, alias Duch, in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) through a Shakespearean lens – particularly drawing upon three plays; The Winter’s Tale, Coriolanus, and Richard III. Duch’s Defence Counsel Mr Francois Roux contended that the real question of Duch’s trial was whether ‘the hearings would allow one who has exited from humanity to return to humanity’. Using Shakespearean exempla, the essay examines the persuasiveness of Duch and his Defence team in its effort to have Duch ‘return to humanity’. This article first details Duch’s life and crimes. In what follows, this article analyses through a Shakespearean lens strengths and weaknesses of the Defence’s appeal for Duch’s ‘return to humanity’ in light of his alleged recognition of guilty and expression of remorse.
Download the thesis from SSRN at the link. 

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