The Hybrid Legal Geographies of a War Crimes Court

Alex Jeffery, Michaelina Jakala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the implications of understanding war crime trials as hybrid legal spaces. Drawing on twelve months of residential fieldwork in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, it examines the circulation of evidence, the choreography of the courtroom, and the nature and possibilities for legal observation. Analyzing hybrid legal geographies foregrounds the material and embodied nature of trials, illuminating the forms of comportment, categorization, and exclusion through which law establishes its legitimacy. Rather than emphasizing separation and distance, the lens of hybridity illuminates the multiple ways in which war crimes trials are grounded in the social and political context of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Consequently, this analysis traces the disjuncture between the imagined geographies of legal jurisdiction and the material and embodied spaces of trial practices. In conclusion, we argue that the establishment of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina illustrates the tensions that emerge when an institution of trial justice is used to strengthen the coherence of a postconflict state
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-667
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • hybrid geographies
  • legal geography
  • war crimes trials

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