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Incitement on Trial

Incitement on Trial
Prosecuting International Speech Crimes

$30.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107501263

$ 30.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • International and national armed conflicts are usually preceded by a media campaign in which public figures foment ethnic, national, racial or religious hatred, inciting listeners to acts of violence. Incitement on Trial evaluates the efforts of international criminal tribunals to hold such inciters criminally responsible. This is an unsettled area of international criminal law, and prosecutors have often struggled to demonstrate a causal connection between speech acts and subsequent crimes. This book identifies 'revenge speech' as the type of rhetoric with the greatest effects on empathy and tolerance for violence. Wilson argues that inciting speech should be handled under the preventative doctrine of inchoate crimes, but that once international crimes have been committed, then ordering and complicity are the most appropriate forms of criminal liability. Based in extensive original research, this book proposes an evidence-based risk assessment model for monitoring political speech.

    • Includes original qualitative studies of recent international criminal trials at three international tribunals
    • Presents a new risk assessment model for speech
    • Reviews and critiques the international criminal law of speech crimes
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'As advocates and courts struggle to address the intuition that speech is to blame for sometimes massive harm, Richard Ashby Wilson has given the cutting edge topic social scientific richness and reflective depth. A superb achievement.' Samuel Moyn, Yale Law School

    'Richard Wilson’s Incitement on Trial makes a powerful argument about how the law should address conduct that often plays a crucial role in fomenting crimes against humanity and genocide. It is an outstanding book.' Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Society Foundations

    'Professor Richard Ashby Wilson’s Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes is an outstanding text on a frequently misinterpreted, if not ill-used, area of international criminal law - the crime of incitement. What distinguishes Incitement on Trial from many other texts on substantive international criminal law is that it is based in part on extensive original empirical research. … Wilson has authored a highly useful and out-of-the box treatise on the crime of incitement, and in no small measure, the mode of liability, instigation. Incitement on Trial makes an invaluable contribution to this field of international criminal law. Judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and civil party lawyers are well advised to not only consult his gem, but to take the time to study much of what is covered, including some of the rich material referenced by Wilson.' Michael Karnavas, michaelgkarnavas (

    'The book is a very sharply focussed examination of the workings of the international court and its treatment of the inchoate crime of incitement. As such it would be most at home in academic law libraries with strong international criminal collections.' David Hurren, Canadian Law Library Review

    'Wilson provides an interesting and thorough analysis of the effects of speech acts. Moreover, to discover how far the assumptions underlying the law in this area are based in fact, Wilson draws on his own empirical studies, his statistical database of ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia] experts, and original research on the effects of hate speech …' Wibke K. Timmermann, Journal of International Criminal Justice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107501263
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Inciting speech in international law and social science
    2. Direct and public incitement to commit genocide: an inchoate crime
    3. Causation in international speech crimes
    4. Instigating persecution: the prosecution case against Vojislav Šešelj
    5. Metaphors, agency and mental causation in speech crimes trials
    6. Social research in international speech crimes trials
    7. The social science of persuasion
    8. A new model for preventing and punishing international speech crimes.

  • Author

    Richard Ashby Wilson, University of Connecticut School of Law
    Richard Wilson has published ten books on human rights and justice. His most recent book, Writing History in International Criminal Trials (Cambridge, 2011), was selected by Choice in 2012 as an 'Outstanding Academic Title' in the law category. He writes widely on human rights and has published in the Washington Post (US), Dagbladet (Norway), The Independent (UK), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands) and the Times Higher Education Supplement (UK). He has held prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and Russell Sage Foundation, and he has consulted for various policy agencies including UNICEF in Sierra Leone. He served as Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the US Commission on Civil Rights from 2009–13.

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