29.06.2005 | 16:15 to 18:00

Rebekka Ehret (Sierra Leone): Special Wor(l)ds at a Special Court. On the Meaning of Language at the Special Court for Sierra Leone


In multilingual Sierra Leone jurisdiction is in English. Several needs clash: the Sierra Leonean society's demand for explanation and comprehensibility, the defendants' and witnesses' right to freedom of choice of language, the judicial authorities' claim of their legal terminology, and the right of the international public to broad information. The lecture will highlight several problematic areas and will present and discuss feasable measures.

Dr. Rebekka Ehret is the head of the Language Unit at the international court for Sierra Leone. Previous to her appointment in 2003 she taught at the universities of Basel and Heidelberg, at the Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, as well as at various Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen). She is specialising in creole, ethno-linguistics, urban ethnology, as well as the study ofv migration, integration and segregation.

Alte Universität, Hörsaal 119
Rheinsprung 9
4051 Basel



University of Basel
Centre for African Studies
Rheinsprung 21
CH-4051 Basel
Tel.: +41 (0)61 207 34 82