Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

The Complex Truth of Testimony

The Complex Truth of Testimony

A Case Study of Human Rights Fact-Finding in Iraq

(p.191) 10. The Complex Truth of Testimony
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

Daniel Rothenberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the specific challenges posed by reliance on testimony in human rights fact-finding. An inquiry into and embrace of the complex nature of the truth of testimony is required. First, the chapter defines testimony, highlighting its importance for documenting atrocities and situating it within the evolution of human rights fact-finding. It then presents a case study of testimony from a woman describing her father’s forced disappearance and subsequent abuses in Iraq in the early 1990s. Second, it suggests that to understand the complexity of the role of testimony it is necessary to recognize a basic tension involved in using the voices of victims and others. Third, the chapter engages the challenge of factual accuracy as a core component of testimony’s value as both evidentiary truth and experiential truth. This chapter also considers the vagaries of memory, impact of trauma, influence of intentionality and coherence of life stories.

Keywords:   witness testimony, Iraq, truth’s complex nature, documenting atrocities, vagaries of memory, impact of trauma, intentionality, coherence

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .