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Supporting the investigation of genocide, war crime and crimes against humanity: Towards evidence-driven policy for building trust and rapport in cross-cultural interviewing contexts.

Principal Investigator: Professor Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth


Given the current geo-political context of war, terrorism, human trafficking and organized crime, the pursuit of justice increasingly relies on productive interactions between individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Building rapport and facilitating trust in cross-cultural contexts constitutes a critical component of effective investigative interviewing. To date, policy for the conduct of such interviews has not kept pace with research. This unique collaboration between practitioners at the International Criminal Court and multi-disciplinary colleagues with expertise in cross-cultural communication, investigative interviewing and international relations will identify, via:

(i) systematic evaluation of a corpus of ICC interviews with victims and witnesses, and;

(ii) structured focusgroups, specific shortcomings inherent in current interviewing approaches and assess how these can be addressed in light of research evidence.

Our key objective is to produce an evidence-based policy resource for cross-cultural interviewing for UK and international investigative practitioners.

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