Witness to the Human Rights Tribunals offers a behind-the-scenes account of the difficulties facing Indigenous people in human rights tribunals, and the struggles of experts to keep their own testimony from being undermined.
On the twelfth floor of an undistinguished-looking high-rise, a tribunal adjudicates the human rights of Indigenous individuals. Why isn’t the process working? Witness to the Human Rights Tribunals draws on testimony, ethnographic data, and years of tribunal decisions to show how specific cases are fought, and offers an in-depth look at anthropological expertise in the courts. Bruce Miller’s candid analysis reveals the double-edged nature of the tribunal, which both protects human rights and re-engages the trauma of discrimination that suffuses social and legal systems. He definitively concludes that any reform must recognize symbolic trauma before Indigenous claimants can receive appropriate justice. This book contains 8 tables.