Message posted on 28/02/2024

CfC 'International Law, Politics, Expertise' EISA PEC, Lille (27-31 August)

Dear friends and colleagues, Please consider submitting an contribution for our open panel International Law, Politics, Expertise at EISA PEC in Lille (27-31 August). Please send your abstract to and by 8 March 2024 (max 150 characters). You will find more information below, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Best wishes,

Jasper van der Kist (University of Antwerp) & Tasniem Anwar (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

International Law, Politics, Expertise

The presentation of credible expertise in court is central to the functioning of international relations and international law. From the expert testimonies on war crimes for the International Court of Justice, to the presentation of evidence in asylum proceedings, to the scientific knowledge on health regulations, scientific knowledge and technologies enable and facilitate investigations in justice systems. Forms of forensic, medical, environmental, security, humanitarian knowledge and expertise are therefore also subject to increasing standardisation and certification to meet the correct legal format and aesthetics. This is not easy, particularly for security expertise which is always in flux.

Not only are the resulting practices and subsequent utility of expert knowledge often linked to objectification, subjection and domination in the judicial procedure, the court of law has also been shown to be one of the spaces in which such expertise can be contested.

In this panel we explore the multifaceted approaches to (scientific) expertise in court with the aim to open up the debate on the relationship between (international) law, politics and expertise. We invite interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches that untangle these complicated relationships by addressing one or more of the following questions.

  • What are the (material) translation processes that expert knowledge requires to become credible evidence in court?
  • What are the multiple sensory forms in which expertise is presented (ie. Visuals, recordings, film etc)?
  • How does knowledge move between different practice areas, such as between the laboratory and the court?
  • How do new (algorithmic) forms of information challenge older (linguistic) forms of evidence?
  • What are the implications of expert knowledge for legal subjectivity and due process?

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