Specialist historical, archival and social science support for complex legal and policy processes.

In its classic meaning, "forensic" refers to a dual track in which the details and facts of a case are collected, and then presented or argued in forensis - that is, in a public forum, before an audience qualified or authorised to judge. Forensic research today consists of a wide range of activities that focus on the collection and presentation of evidence for legal arguments, processes and outcomes.

Our forensic services contribute to this in three ways: direct support to legal cases through archival and historical investigation; research into the details, conduct and outcomes of forensic processes and cases; and research and advisory services that focus on the politics and governance of forensic issues.

Core Services
Advisory services : focused on research design - identifying historically relevant elements of cases, potential and overlooked sources of archival and historical evidence, and ways of integrating them into legal and policy oriented research processes.

Targeted research : that builds cases by establishing the factual basis of events and issues, identifies leads that can cue follow-up inquiry, and supports discovery and diclosure processes.

Research support : through management of research projects; document retrieval, processing and digitisation; and deployment of access-enabling technologies in remote and frontier locations.

Thesigers' people have long experience conducting forensically-oriented research and investigations in academic settings and for public, private and third sector clients. Illustrative examples include research, advisory and support activities surrounding:

  • Rule-of-law initiatives in the Western Balkans and Afghanistan
  • Historical windows-of-opportunity in illegal wartime seizures of material assets
  • Command responsiblity for hate speech and systemic human rights violations
  • Transnational trafficking in illicit arms, natural resources, and other commodities
  • Criminal and political facilitation of international sanctions evasion
  • Material support to foreign and domestic terrorist activity
  • Legal and policy regimes regulating private security and private military companies
  • Analysis of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide
  • Analysis of cultural heritage, provenance and property in conflict settings
  • International boundary disputes, natural resources, and data protection