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Truth Commissions Compared: the Examples of El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa
Ph.D. at the University of Cologne, 2002 (“magna cum laude”; in German) · Publishing house Mainz, Aachen, Germany · 1st edition 2003 · 360 pages, 1,629 footnotes · ISBN 3-86130-081-8
About this book
Truth commissions have become globally famous through the South African “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” which, led by Archbishop Tutu, dealt with the apartheid past of South Africa. Such commissions have been hailed by some as a solve-it-all to pacify a torn society, and vilified by others as an instrument for ‘witch hunts.’
Exploring the truth commissions of El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa, the book vividly explains the idea, composition, modus operandi, problems and results of such commissions. At the same time, a wealth of excerpts from the commissions’ reports as well as from the author’s interviews with experts, commissioners, victims and perpetrators provides the reader with unusually varied and colorful insights into the subject’s legal, history, contemporary history, and (socio-)political aspects.
It is with critical sympathy that the book highlights the important contribution that truth commissions can make towards helping a society deal with its past and build its future.
Further information and excerpts from my Ph.D. (only available in German for the time being, sorry!):
Table of contents (pdf, 5 pages; in German)
Introduction (pdf, 5 pages; in German)
Conclusion (pdf, 11 pages; in German)
My presentation on Truth Commissions at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
The Hague, Netherlands · June 30, 2010
Presentation, English version: “A Discussion about Truth Commissions” (pdf, 42 slides)
Presentation, French version: “Discussion sur les Commissions Vérité” (pdf, 42 slides)
My credentials as an editor and translator
[beyond that set out under
I am a member of the German Association of Freelance Copy Editors (VFLL).
My (German-language) profile in the VFLL database can be accessed here.
In addition, I am a member of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ).
My (German-language) profile in the BDÜ database can be accessed here.
Language and communication have always been at the heart of my professional activity.
I have accumulated many years of professional work experience dealing with tax law in a global company. Opinions, reports, memos, presentations, technical papers, product leaflets, newsletters, and communication with clients, business associates as well as internal and external colleagues were my stock-in-trade — just like translating fact patterns, assessments and information: both linguistically and culturally, as well as both into German and from German.
In addition, I have multifaceted practical work experience in additional fields:
- Foreign languages and technical translations (among others longtime transaction experience as an advisor in English, legal work at the International Criminal Court in French, and translation of all the sources of my doctoral thesis from English, Spanish, and French into German);
- Scholarly work and projects (especially in the framework of my legal studies and doctoral thesis; notably in the areas of public international law, international law, human rights, and international criminal law);
- Journalism, press and public relations work (among others military service in a press department of the German armed forces, and activity as a freelance local journalist); and
- Layout design (school magazine, law school Foreign LL.M. Yearbook, private and business website as well as contribution to marketing material and market appearance of our consulting firm).
In the framework of all those experiences, I have authored a great number of texts with different profiles, volumes, styles, and target audiences. I have also revised or edited similar texts written by others.
- I have been a State-certified translator ENG–GER / GER–ENG (Focus: Law) as well as a Court-certified translator of the English language for the courts and notaries of Berlin since 2013.
- Moreover, I have been a German qualified attorney (Rechtsanwalt) and a qualified tax advisor (Steuerberater) since 2001 and 2006, respectively.
- I hold a Ph.D. (Dr. iur.) in public international law. My doctoral thesis was on a human rights subject, the so-called truth commissions (under that link you can find more details about my thesis and about a lecture I have given on the subject).
- I have lived, studied and worked abroad for more than 10 years: Raised in Brussels, I studied law among others in Paris and Washington, DC, where I obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International & Comparative Law from George Washington University Law School. I worked in the team of the French Presiding Judge of one of the trial chambers of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
- I have more than seven years’ professional experience in tax law with one of the ‘Big Four’ global auditing firms, where I advised and attended in English to international clients investing in German real estate, and where I further enhanced my intercultural skills in the process.
- My language skills include :
- German (native) [Level C2*]
- English (business fluent) [C2]
- French (business fluent) [C2]
- Spanish (fluent) [B2]
- Dutch (very good basic knowledge) [B1]
- Russian (basic knowledge) [A2]
- Latin (Latinum certificate)
* pursuant to the Common European Framework of Reference by the Council of Europe (pdf)
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