PR7 Writing a documentary play on the theme of citizen courts

Design: Frédéric Barriera (SurMesure, Berlin)

Example of Justice 67

We decided to write and direct a play around the issue of citizen courts. We started from the historical example of the Russell tribunal which was held in 1967 in Stockholm (Sweden) and Roskilde (Denmark).

This court of opinion brought together intellectuals and artists from all over the world (Bertrand Russell for the United Kingdom, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir for France, Günther Anders for Germany, Peter Weiss for Sweden, James Baldwin for the United States, etc.) to judge crimes committed by the United States during the Vietnam War. This tribunal, in a way, turns the system of the Nuremberg tribunal against one of its initiators.
Through the Russell tribunal, these “ordinary” citizens decide to do justice when justice itself fails in its obligations to punish the most serious international crimes, including the crime of genocide. It raises the question of the commitment of intellectuals, artists and citizens in the judicial field, not only as a means of alerting public opinion but even more as an alternative mode of action to other forms of intervention and ‘commitment.