The Music Act of ‘Kosovo’ and Its Semantic Resonances in International Criminal Trials: An Oral Epic Poetry Case Study Toward a Cognitive Approach to Analysis, Investigations and Prosecutions

Siegel, D., Bovenkerk, F. (eds.) Crime and Music (Springer International Publishing 2020) - Forthcoming

45 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020

See all articles by Predrag Dojcinovic

Predrag Dojcinovic

University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute; International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1998-2017)

Date Written: May 18, 2020

Abstract

When a defendant is charged with incitement to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, understanding the specific resonances and impact of communications on the perpetrators can determine the ultimate issue in a trial. In this regard, various elements of music have always been a critical but underestimated factor in the perpetration of mass atrocity crimes. Music, as language, has the capacity to communicate information and prompt action. As a result, the nature and role of music can neither be interpreted nor understood without an advanced forensic approach to its position in international criminal trials. In line with the above, this chapter first lays out the conceptual foundations of the newly proposed concept of music acts within cognitive scientific and international criminal legal frameworks. It then presents an oral epic poetry case study based on the music acts, as defined by the noun ‘Kosovo’ and its conceptual relatives ‘Turks’ and ‘poturice,’ both explicitly and implicitly present in the 1992 documentary film Serbian Epics by Pawel Pawlikowski, which was introduced as evidence in several trials before the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The chapter ultimately situates ‘music acts’ as a potentially useful analytical, investigative and prosecutorial concept within the context of international criminal law and justice as a whole.

Keywords: cognitive science; international criminal law; speech acts; music acts; oral epic poetry; gusle; Kosovo; Turks; poturice; specific intent; persecution; genocide

Suggested Citation

Dojcinovic, Predrag, The Music Act of ‘Kosovo’ and Its Semantic Resonances in International Criminal Trials: An Oral Epic Poetry Case Study Toward a Cognitive Approach to Analysis, Investigations and Prosecutions (May 18, 2020). Siegel, D., Bovenkerk, F. (eds.) Crime and Music (Springer International Publishing 2020) - Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3604426

Predrag Dojcinovic (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1998-2017) ( email )

UN-ICTY
P.O. Box 13888
The Hague, Zuid-Holland 2501 EW
Netherlands

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