Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal

Working in a Tug-of-War

  • Ellen Elias-Bursać

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Introduction

    1. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 1-13
  3. The Translators and Interpreters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 17-57
    3. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 58-119
    4. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 120-161
  4. The Courtroom

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 165-180
    3. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 181-193
    4. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 194-240
    5. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 241-248
    6. Ellen Elias-Bursać
      Pages 249-257
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 258-311

About this book


How can defendants be tried if they cannot understand the charges being raised against them? Can a witness testify if the judges and attorneys cannot understand what the witness is saying? Can a judge decide whether to convict or acquit if she or he cannot read the documentary evidence? The very viability of international criminal prosecution and adjudication hinges on the massive amounts of translation and interpreting that are required in order to run these lengthy, complex trials, and the procedures for handling the demands facing language services. This book explores the dynamic courtroom interactions in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in which witnesses testify through an interpreter about translations, attorneys argue through an interpreter about translations and the interpreting, and judges adjudicate on the interpreted testimony and translated evidence.


translation interpreting translator interpreter war crimes Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Serbia Kosovo Macedonia Albania ICTY International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The Hague witness testimony ethnic slurs prosecution defence Interpreter Translator

Authors and affiliations

  • Ellen Elias-Bursać
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Scholar and Literary TranslatorUSA

Bibliographic information