Summer 2015 Seminar

Seminar Series Special Event, Summer 2015

"Numbers in Court: Demographic Evidence in War-Crimes Trials"

Presented by Jakub Bijak, University of Southampton

Abstract: Population consequences of armed conflicts have long been of interest to historical demographers. The early 21st century has seen an increasing momentum of research in this field, and the rise of demography of conflict and violence as a standalone area of population enquiries. Currently, this area of work is developing rapidly, aided by the proliferation of demographic and statistical methods that can be applied; and by the current practice of international tribunals to commission expert demographers to provide their analysis, in addition to expert historians. In this talk, Bijak will discuss the role of demographic evidence in selected war-crimes trials, with focus on the work carried out at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Particular attention will be paid to the limitations of different types of demographic evidence from the legal point of view – but also to the great power of reliable numbers in addressing legal questions related to large-scale war crimes.

Disclaimer: This talk was delivered by Jakub Bijak in his personal capacity. All the views and interpretations presented in this talk are those of the author, and do not reflect the views of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Organization for Migration, or any institution with which the author is or was affiliated.