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Social scientists as experts in international criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia and elsewhere

Written by Vladimir Petrović, this article appeared on the journal Filozofija i društvo in 2007.
 
The paper focuses on the engagement of social scientists as expert witnesses in the trials before the Hague Tribunal whose contribution is presented in the light of the long-time development of this practice. A more extensive discussion of the court-room use of scientific knowledge reveals a number of problems in the regulation of the testimonies of expert witnesses.
 
The paper analyzes the mechanisms that are used, in various legal contexts, to provide scientific reliability and procedural relevance of expert testimony as well as the applicability of those mechanisms upon forensic contributions of various social sciences. The regulation of expert testimony at the Hague Tribunal is seen as a solution sui generis whose consequences can be followed through the participation of expert witnesses in the in the procedures and in public perception of the engagement of social scientists for this purpose. The goal of is the comparison of the dominant belief of the participation of social scientists in the work of the Hague Tribunal and the creation of precondition for understanding of the specific characteristics of their role as expert witnesses.

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