Man or Monster?

The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

Author: Alexander Laban Hinton

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822373556

Category: Social Science

Page: 360

View: 1334


During the Khmer Rouge's brutal reign in Cambodia during the mid-to-late 1970s, a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In 2009 Duch stood trial for these crimes against humanity. While the prosecution painted Duch as evil, his defense lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. In Man or Monster? Alexander Hinton uses creative ethnographic writing, extensive fieldwork, hundreds of interviews, and his experience attending Duch's trial to create a nuanced analysis of Duch, the tribunal, the Khmer Rouge, and the after-effects of Cambodia's genocide. Interested in how a person becomes a torturer and executioner as well as the law's ability to grapple with crimes against humanity, Hinton adapts Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" to consider how the potential for violence is embedded in the everyday ways people articulate meaning and comprehend the world. Man or Monster? provides novel ways to consider justice, terror, genocide, memory, truth, and humanity.

Figuring Victims in International Criminal Justice

The case of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Author: Maria Elander

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429492057

Category: Law

Page: 196

View: 7871


Most discourses on victims in international criminal justice take the subject of victims for granted, as an identity and category existing exogenously to the judicial process. This book takes a different approach. Through a close reading of the institutional practices of one particular court, it demonstrates how court practices produce the subjectivity of the victim, a subjectivity that is profoundly of law and endogenous to the enterprise of international criminal justice. Furthermore, by situating these figurations within the larger aspirations of the court, the book shows how victims have come to constitute and represent the link between international criminal law and the enterprise of transitional justice. The book takes as its primary example the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as it is also called. Focusing on the representation of victims in crimes against humanity, victim participation and photographic images, the book engages with a range of debates and scholarship in law, feminist theory and cultural legal theory. Furthermore, by paying attention to a broader range of institutional practices, Figuring Victims makes an innovative scholarly contribution to the debates on the roles and purposes of international criminal justice.

The Justice Facade

Trials of Transition in Cambodia

Author: Alexander Hinton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192552910

Category: Law

Page: 320

View: 6317


What is Justice? Is it always just 'to come'? Can real experience be translated into law? Examining Cambodia's troubled reconciliation, Alexander Hinton suggests an approach to justice founded on global ideals of the rule of law, democratization, and a progressive trajectory towards liberty and freedom, and which seeks to align the country with so called universal modes of thought, is condemned to failure. Instead, Hinton advocates focusing on the individual lived experience, and the discourses, interstices, and the combustive encounters connected with it, as a radical alternative. A phenomenology inspired approach towards healing national trauma, Hinton's ground-breaking text will make anybody with an interest in transitional justice, development, humanitarian intervention, human rights, or peacebuilding, question the value of an established truth.

Monsters and Monstrosity

From the Canon to the Anti-Canon: Literary and Juridical Subversions

Author: Daniela Carpi

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 3110653583

Category: Law

Page: 307

View: 3522


Every culture knows the phenomenon of monsters, terrifying creatures that represent complete alterity and challenge every basic notion of self and identity within a cultural paradigm. In Latin and Greek culture, the monster was created as a marvel, appearing as something which, like transgression itself, did not belong to the assumed natural order of things. Therefore, it could only be created by a divinity responsible for its creation, composition, goals and stability, but it was triggered by some in- or non-human action performed by humans. The identification of something as monstrous denotes its place outside and beyond social norms and values. The monster-evoking transgression is most often indistinguishable from reactions to the experience of otherness, merging the limits of humanity with the limits of a given culture. The topic entails a large intersection among the cultural domains of law, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and technology. Monstrosity has indeed become a necessary condition of our existence in the 21st century: it serves as a representation of change itself. In the process of analysis there are three theoretical approaches: psychoanalytical, representational, ontological. The volume therefore aims at examining the concept of monstrosity from three main perspectives: technophobic, xenophobic, superdiversity. Today’s globalized world is shaped in the unprecedented phenomenon of international migration. The resistance to this phenomenon causes the demonization of the Other, seen as the antagonist and the monster. The monster becomes therefore the ethnic Other, the alien. To reach this new perspective on monstrosity we must start by examining the many facets of monstrosity, also diachronically: from the philological origin of the term to the Roman and classical viewpoint, from the Renaissance medical perspective to the religious background, from the new filmic exploitations in the 20th and 21st centuries to the very recent ethnological and anthropological points of view, to the latest technological perspective , dealing with artificial intelligence.

Facing the Torturer

Inside the mind of a war criminal

Author: Francois Bizot

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409033279

Category: Psychology

Page: 224

View: 4582


In 1971, Francois Bizot was kept prisoner for three months in the Cambodian jungle, accused of being a CIA spy. His Khmer Rouge captor, Comrade Duch, eventually had him freed and it took Bizot decades to realize he owed his life to a man who, later in the Killing Fields regime, was to become one of Pol Pot's most infamous henchmen. As the head of the Tuol Sleng S-21 jail, Duch personally oversaw the detention, systematic torture and execution of more than 16,000 detainees. Duch's trial as a war criminal ended in July 2010 amid a blaze of publicity. He was sentenced to a controversial 35 years imprisonment. In the tradition of Gitta Sereny, who sat with Speer in the Nuremberg trials, Bizot attended Duch's court case and spent time with him in prison, trying to unearth whatever humanity Duch had left. 'It would be all too easy,' says Bizot, 'if this man was a monster, not a member of the human race. We could use the slogan 'never again' and move on. But the deep horror is that this man is normal...Through his very qualities he became a mass murderer. Does that exonerate him from the crimes? Certainly not. But it does force us to question ourselves in a way that is deeply unsettling.' At once a personal essay, a historical and philosophical meditation, and an eye-witness account, Facing the Torturer will join a very short list of important books about man's personal responsibility in collective crimes.