Justice

On trial at the women’s court: gender violence, justice and citizenship

Adriana Zaharijević
Srebrenica

Women’s Courts are radically feminist in nature because they underline that women are the most vulnerable subjects of the state, and that their personal experience of violence, rape, torture or discrimination is a political issue. The specific feminist methodology of Women’s Courts insists on an intersection between political and personal, which is given affective and aesthetic expression (women sing, weep, laugh and yell during the trials), representing thereby both their survival and resistance. Their testimonies, the space they occupy and the affectivity they are allowed to express, help to create different kinds of judicial system and juridical practices. Women’s Courts therefore aim at evolving new concepts of justice itself. 

Is alternative justice possible? If yes, how and for whom? If one begins with an assumption that formal legal systems do not side with victims and that, even if the trials prove to be fair, they do not necessarily bring justice to the victims, then one is bound to seek alternative justice. Alternative justice is needed for those who are deprived of power in political, civic and social terms.

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