Accusing 'Europe': Articulations of Migrant Justice and a Popular International Law

Cambridge University Press
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Peoples' Tribunals and International Law, 2018, pp. 157 - 181
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This chapter examines a recent civil society initiative, Tribunal 12, as an internationalised articulation of migrant justice.1 Tribunal 12 was held in Stockholm in May 2012, and sought to put ‘Europe’ on trial for the systematic violations of the rights and dignity of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. By adopting a legal and aesthetical framework, the initiative aimed to draw attention to the increased global securitisation of borders, criminalisation of unauthorised migrants and systemic exploitation of undocumented people in Europe. It also intended to generate support for migrant struggles within Europe by highlighting the morally unjust and harmful effects of European border practices. Although the Tribunal differed significantly from earlier international peoples’ tribunals in that it did not hear any witness testimonies from migrants themselves, I nonetheless locate Tribunal 12 within a legacy of peoples’ tribunals and their entanglement with international law and institutions.
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