Terrorists on Trial: A Performative Perspective

 

Over the past years, ICCT conducted the “Terrorists on Trial” Research Project, which focused on the performative and communicative aspects of a terrorist trial. The project consisted of a series of seminars analysing different terrorist trials. The Series build upon the work of Prof. Dr. Beatrice de Graaf, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) Research Theme Group Terrorists on Trial. The Court Room as a Stage in the Struggle for Publicity, Public Support and Legitimacy”.

The seminars aimed to apply a performative perspective to terrorism trials, hence not solely concentrating on the immediate judicial performance of the magistrates and/or the defence, but putting trials in their wider sociological context, adopting notions of social drama and communication sciences.

Below you will find the meeting reports from this series of seminars.


Project Acitivites

11 April 2013 | Terrorists on Trial: The Case of Anders Behring Breivik

The fifth seminar discussed the case of Anders Behring Breivik who was behind a bombing and shooting on 22 July 2011 in Norway. Speakers included Research Fellows Liesbeth van der Heide and Daan Weggemans as well as Tore Bjørgo and Cato Hemingby (both from the Norwegian Police Academy).

Read the full Meeting Report.

25 January 2012 | Terrorists on Trial: The Case of the “20th Hijacker”

This seminar focussed on Zacarias Moussaoui who is often refered to as the 20th hijacker and was convicted of conspiring to kill U.S. citizens as a part of the 9/11 attacks. The panel included  Judge Leonie Brinkema who presided over Moussaoui’s trial.

Read the full Meeting Report.

13 December 2011 | Terrorists on Trial: The Case of Zarema Muzhakhtoyeva

This was the third meeting in the series which featured Ms. Natalja Evlapova (Zarema Muzhakhtoyeva’s lawyer and a specialist on the Chechen question) who reflected upon the trial from the defence’s perspective.

Read the full Meeting Report.

23 November 2011 | Terrorists on Trial: The Lockerbie Case

This seminar examined the Lockerbie case through it’s performative and communicative aspects. Speakers included Judge Howard Morrison (Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), Mr. Paul McBride QC (Senior Counsel at Black Chambers) and Mr. Ian Ferguson an Investigative Journalist who has followed the case for over two decades.

Read the full Meeting Report.

30 March 2011 | Terrorism Trials as Theatre: A Performative Perspective

This seminar looked at the Hoftstad Group trials in the Netherlands, the Mumbai 2008 Terrorist Attack Trial and the Guantanamo Military Tribunals.
Read the full Meeting Report.

Research Paper | Terrorists on Trial: A Performative Perspective

This Paper was written in advance of the opening Terrorists on Trials seminar and was later updated to reflect discussion during the meeting. The Paper applies a performative perspective to three well known and recent trials in different parts of the world: the trials against the Dutch Hofstad Group, the Mumbai 2008 Terrorist Attack Trial and the Guantanamo Military Tribunals.

Read the full Research Paper (pdf).


Terrorists on Trial Blog

Prof. Dr. Beatrice de Graaf and a number of her colleagues travelled to Norway in August 2012 for the Anders Behring Breivik trial, where the team conducted research and interviews relating to the case. Their progess was documented on their Terrorists on Trial Blog.