The opening statement prominently focuses on the perpetrator’s character. Studying these character sketches provides unique insight into the construction of stereotypes in international courtrooms. Though arguably not entirely in line with the presumed ethics of criminal law, opening statements in international criminal trials usually assign a certain personality to the defendants rather than merely describe the wrongness of the crimes he or she allegedly committed. During the opening statement, the defendant is presented as well as created. The words are doing work. A character, who is physically present in the courtroom, is brought to life through its linguistic description. Opening statements in international criminal trials introduce a perpetrator who is both a sophisticated manipulator as well as an inhuman beast. Although technically only specific deeds are on trial, the motivation for committing crimes is often connected to consistent character traits.