The Gender of Transitional Justice: Law, Sexual Violence and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


Campbell, Kirsten. 2007. “The Gender of Transitional Justice: Law, Sexual Violence and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 411–32. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm033.

Author: Kirsten Campbell


Recent efforts to develop and implement progressive models of transitional justice have been significantly influenced by major developments in the law concerning sexual violence in armed conflict. In particular, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has pioneered accountability for sexual violence against women in armed conflict. This article takes the ICTY as a case study of how gender can structure the accountability mechanisms of transitional justice. The article analyses how legal norms and practices instantiate and reiterate, rather than transform, existing hierarchical gender relations. It considers the existing models of sexual violence as a criminal harm under international law, and then examines gendered patterns of legal practice in ICTY prosecutions. To address this engendering of transitional justice, the article produces a new model of the harm of sexual violence in conflict, suggests the development of a new international offence of sexual violence and generates different strategies for international prosecutions of sexual violence.

Topics: Gender, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2007

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at