INTERNATIONAL LAW ASSOCIATION
(British Branch) Lecture:
Researching the effects of international criminal justice in Africa: some practical, epistemological, ethical, and existential questions
by Dr Sarah Nouwen
Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
This lecture is accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB.
About the lecture:
This is the story behind another story. Inspired by the anthropological practice of reflexivity, it traces some practical, epistemological, ethical, and existential questions behind a book based on empirical socio-legal research into international criminal law in situations of conflict. The challenges involved in such research are at times impossible to overcome. Indeed, the challenges may be such that the researcher will never be able to answer her original question fully and confidently. However, challenges can be findings in themselves. They may reveal insights into the role of law in a society, the limitations of vocabularies, the overexposure of international criminal law, and inequalities in global knowledge production. Rather than merely obstructing research into a topical issue, challenges may shift the researcher’s attention to other, more fundamental, questions. Nonetheless, understanding challenges as findings does not resolve the existential problem of the researcher’s possible complicity in maintaining the very challenges that she analyses and perhaps ambitiously tries to overcome.
The talk is based on this article: https://doi.org/10.1017/S092215651300071X.
About the speaker:
Dr Sarah Nouwen lectures and supervises Public International Law; International Criminal Law; International Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice at both undergraduate and graduate level.
She has served as a consultant for various NGOs and Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Department for International Development (DfID) on rule-of-law building and transitional justice. In 2010-2011, she was seconded to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan. She continues to assist international organisations in peace negotiations and national dialogues.
Before starting her PhD, Sarah worked for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New York, The Hague and Sudan and for an NGO in Senegal.
Sarah holds an LLM (cum laude, Utrecht, with a specialisation in Cape Town), an MPhil in International Relations (Cantab) and a PhD in International Law (Cantab).