Assembling atrocity archives for Syria: Assessing the work of the CIJA and the IIIM

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Abstract / Description of output

This article provides an ethnographically informed comparative case study of the atrocity archiving work being undertaken by two entities: the not-for-profit, civil society organization, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), and the United Nations’ International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM). Insights from data collected is read alongside debates within the fields of international criminal law, transitional justice, and archival studies. The article argues that this archival work is of significance in exploring how international lawyers respond to the Syrian tragedy, how they understand the possibilities and limitations of criminal trials, as well as their ethical responsibilities in possessing so much sensitive material. The example of the Syrian atrocity archive, and the innovative technological approaches it requires, provides new ways of thinking through the relationship between evidence, custodianship, and the legitimacy of (possible future) criminal trials.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbermqab065
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Nov 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Syria
  • international criminal justice
  • criminal trials
  • archives
  • Commission for International Justuce and
  • International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism for Syria


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