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Title: Adjusting the narrative lens : overcoming the incommensurability of representations of rape and sexual violence in the field of transitional justice
Author: MacKenzie, Kelly
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 9029
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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The recognition of rape and sexual violence against women in periods of armed conflict has become increasingly prevalent in the discourse of the international community in recent years culminating in rhetoric concerned with the ending of impunity for such crimes. While the establishment of ad-hoc criminal tribunals may have spawned a jurisprudence that mobilises and articulates the international legal response to conflict-related rape and sexual violence against women, the legal processes implemented, legal agents employed and legal language used all come together to produce a particular narrative construction designed to secure law’s retributive aim. As complex lived experiences are reduced to fit universal legal categories, the construction of legal narratives is achieved at the expense of victim-survivors through narratives that elide the causes and consequences of rape and sexual violence resulting in incommensurable representations. Crimes of this nature continue to take place throughout the word, continually evading capture in law. This work explores the way in which three modes of thought - temporality, genealogy, and spatiality - operate to frame laws narrative, precluding for it the possibility of recognising fully the multifaceted nature of lived experience. These normative modes of thought represent interrelated aspects of law’s boundaries, perceived in a particular way within law. Framed from a feminist perspective, this work pushes at these boundaries to question whether law's limits can be redrawn as commensurable with life through a new perception of narrative, examining the processes and actors designated with the task of providing justice in judicial, quasi-judicial and extra-judicial mechanisms. Adjusting the narrative lens demands acknowledgment of a common thread that ties each of us together - though our languages may differ, our ability to tell stories remains. Through blurring the boundaries, the work not only seeks enrichment through reconfiguration of those approaches already established in law but also attempts to harness the potential of the narrative lens to consider the possibility of overcoming incommensurability.
Supervisor: Rauxloh, Regina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available