Int. J. of Liability and Scientific Enquiry   »   2008 Vol.1, No.3



Title: The testimonial privilege of journalists reporting in wartimes or from conflict zones


Author: S.S. Nel


Address: Department of Criminal and Procedural Law, University of South Africa, South Africa


Abstract: Journalists reporting from conflict zones make a significant contribution to uncovering and documenting of war crimes. As trained neutral observers they may serve as witnesses in subsequent criminal prosecutions. This creates a moral dilemma: not forcing them to testify in international criminal tribunals may result in perpetrators of war crimes going free – forcing them to testify, may not only put their lives and those of their sources and families at risk, but perpetrators may never confide in them and war crimes may repeatedly go unnoticed. This raises several contentious issues surrounding the testimonial privilege for journalists reporting under these conditions.


Keywords: journalists; testimony; testimonial privilege; international criminal tribunals; war correspondents; war reporting; newsgathering; war zones; conflict zones; war crimes; moral dilemma; witnesses.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLSE.2008.017699


Int. J. of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, 2008 Vol.1, No.3, pp.293 - 305


Available online: 27 Mar 2008



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