An Anthropologist in Court and out of Place
A Rejoinder to Wiersinga
In this rejoinder to Wiersinga’s article which deals with my role as an Expert Witness in a Dutch terrorism trial, I will respond based upon my notes at the time and my subsequent reﬂections about it. As I will show, the anthropologist and the judge can, and should, meet but this also turns the neutrality of the researcher into a matter debate. Furthermore, in this meeting anthropological knowledge becomes entangled with other logics and methods which raises many ethical questions as Wiersinga has rightfully pointed out. These questions and issues are not speciﬁc for the case I was involved in but has a bearing on the issue of cultural expertise in a broader sense for the time. I end my contribution with two pleas: one for more reﬂection among anthropologists on ethical issues in relation to cultural expertise and another to academic institutions to support their scholars in court.
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