November 8, 2011 -- Writing History in International Criminal Trials

Document Type


Publication Date



On November 8, 2011, Richard A. Wilson was a featured speaker at the Clason Lecture Series sponsored by Western New England University School of Law. Wilson spoke about how law and history should or shoud not be combined in the courtroom. Historical testimony is now an integral part of international trials, with both prosecutors and defense teams using background testimony to pursue legal objectives. Both sides use historical narratives to frame the alleged crimes and to articulate their side's theory of the case. Although legal ways of knowing are distinctive from those of history, the two are effectively combined in international trials in a way that challenges us to rethink the relationship between law and history.