Dojcinovic on The Forensification of Propaganda in Epic Poetry and Serb Leadership Cases at the ICTY @UConn
Predrag Dojcinovic, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute; International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1998-2017), is publishing The Forensification of Propaganda in Epic Poetry and Serb Leadership Cases at the ICTY in N. Guibert, F. Gantheret, S. Stolk (eds.) Art and Human Rights: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Issues (N. Guibert, F. Gantheret, and S. Stolk, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing) (2023). Here is the abstract.
The concept of propaganda, while not a crime per se in international criminal law, is a multifaceted phenomenon with far-reaching implications in social and legal practice. The evolving jurisprudence indicates that language, as an instrument of propaganda, can constitute forensic evidence of critical relevance, particularly in the prosecution of the crimes of persecution and genocide. The language of epic poetry, conceived and construed within complex historical and cultural backdrops, has not been an exception in this respect. This chapter demonstrates how specific excerpts from the mid-19th century epic poem The Mountain Wreath by the Montenegrin sovereign and poet Petar Petrović Njegoš were utilized by the prosecution as mens rea evidence in the trial of Radovan Karadžić at the ICTY. Such approach to poetry in the courtroom demonstrates that legal practice is not interested in aesthetic value judgments but in the forensification of intent possibly resonating through a work of art.
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.