The first workshop was organised around the International Criminal Court’s traveling exhibition titled ‘Justice Matters‘. The Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law (CAICL) research cluster at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, organised a series of events which use the photography exhibition as an entry-point into thinking more broadly about law and aesthetics. The photography was exhibited at the University of Liverpool along with a critical introduction and some closing thoughts.

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The ICC’s ‘Justice Matters’ photography exhibited at the University of Liverpool

On 28 and 29 April 2016, the CAICL unit organised a workshop at the University of Liverpool, which brought together academics, artists, film-makers, poets and journalists to discuss the aesthetics and counter-aesthetics of international law. Some of the questions we asked were: How are the victims of international crimes portrayed in the exhibition? Does a picture really paint a thousand words? What is the role of international organisations in institutionalising images and associations with ‘justice’? Is the ICC using pictures to inform about its activities or also to market a punitive international criminal justice system?

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In the course of the workshop, we also discussed the presentation, imagination and complexities of a counter-aesthetic of law. What would a counter-aesthetic of justice include? Would it be one of farce and satire? Would it be a form of détournement as imagined by the Situationist International? How can images avoid stereotyping and instead inspire reflexiveness?

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