research product . 2014

Documenting and judging international crimes in the Belgian judicial archives (1914-2014): Digitization challenges and possibilities

Rovetta, Ornella;
Open Access Nauru
  • Published: 15 Oct 2014
  • Country: Belgium
This paper presents a digital database project that seeks to identify, to describe and to digitize Belgian judicial archives related to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It focuses on the records produced by Belgian jurisdictions in the contexts of post-conflict processes from 1914 to 2014. In particular, three specific moments are taken into account: the attempts to judge German war criminals in the 1920s and 1940s following the First and the Second World War and the occupation of Belgium; and the experiences with universal jurisdiction and international judicial cooperation through the 1990s. Created by diverse judicial bodies (criminal, assizes or military courts), these records are intrinsically international. Firstly by their contents and goals, namely by aiming to judge international crimes in the aftermath of war and genocide and to contribute to international law. Secondly, by the specific international context that forms the background to the development of these judicial processes. This is why the project seeks to integrate these records into a dynamic, interconnected and international archival environment, and to contribute to the International Criminal Court database project, therefore valorizing these collections beyond Belgian boundaries through web-based consultation.
free text keywords: Histoire contemporaine [depuis 1914], Paléographie - archivistique, judicial archives, archives judiciaires, digital humanities, Belgian jurisprudence, war crimes, crimes de guerre, crimes against humanity, crimes contre l'humanité
  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • Social Science and Humanities
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