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International Criminal Law

Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime

Citation:

Huskey, Kristine A. 2012. Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime. Criminal Justice Ethics 31(3): 193-212.

Author: Kristine Huskey

Abstract:

The rapidly growing presence of private military and security contractors (PMSCs) in armed conflict and post-conflict situations in the last decade brought corresponding incidents of serious misconduct by PMSC personnel. The two most infamous events one involving the firm formerly known as Blackwater and the other involving Titan and CACl engendered scrutiny of available mechanisms for criminal and civil accountability of the individuals whose misconduct caused the harm. Along a parallel track, scholars and policymakers began examining the responsibility of states and international organizations for the harm that occurred. Both approaches have primarily focused on post-conduct accountability of the individuals who caused the harm, of the state in which the harm occurred, or of the state or organization that hired the PMSC whose personnel caused the harm. Less attention, however, has been paid to the idea of pre-conduct accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. A broad understanding of accountability for PMSCs and their personnel encompasses not only responsibility for harm caused by conduct, but responsibility for hiring, hosting, and monitoring these entities, as well as responsibility to the victims of the harm. This article provides a comprehensive approach for analyzing the existing international legal regime, and whether and to what extent the legal regime provides accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. It does so by proposing a practical construct of three phases based on PMSC operations Contracting, In-the-Field, and Post-Conduct with which to assess the various bodies of international law.

 

Keywords: private military and security companies, accountability, international human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, Montreux Document, International Criminal Law, U.N. Draft Convention on Private Military and Security Contractors

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC

Citation:

Chertoff, Emily. 2017. “Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC." Yale Law Journal 126 (4): 1050-117.

Author: Emily Chertoff

Abstract:

Reports suggest that Islamic State, the terrorist "caliphate," has enslaved and brutalized thousands of women from the Yazidi ethnic minority of Syria and Northern Iraq. International criminal law has a name for what Islamic State has done to these women: gender-based persecution. This crime, which appears in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has only been charged once, and unsuccessfully, in the Court's two decades of existence. The case of the Yazidi women presents a promising opportunity to charge it again--and, potentially, to shift the lately unpromising trajectory of the Court, which has been weakened in recent months by a wave of defections by former member states. This Note uses heretofore unexamined jurisprudence of the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber to elaborate--element by element--how the Prosecutor of the Court could charge gender-based persecution against members of Islamic State. I argue that the prosecution of Islamic State would not just vindicate the rights of Yazidi survivors of Islamic State violence. It would help to consolidate an international norm against gender-based persecution in armed conflict--a norm that, until now, international law has only incompletely realized. This Note argues that only by prosecuting the crime of gender-based persecution can international criminal law cognize violence, like the attacks on Yazidi women, that is motivated not just by race, ethnicity, or gender, but by the victims' intersecting gender and ethnic or racial identities. I conclude by reflecting on the role that a series of prosecutions against perpetrators of gender-based persecution might have in restoring the legitimacy of the ailing ICC.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Race, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

Manhood Deprived and (Re)constructed during Conflicts and International Prosecutions: The Curious Case of the Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta et al.

Citation:

Turan, Gözde. 2016. “Manhood Deprived and (Re)constructed during Conflicts and International Prosecutions: The Curious Case of the Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta et Al.” Feminist Legal Studies 24 (1): 29–47. doi:10.1007/s10691-016-9313-0.

Author: Gözde Turan

Abstract:

Recent case law on sexual violence crimes heard before the ad hoc international criminal tribunals and courts, that interpret them in connection with ethnic conflict, raises the question of which acts can be defined as sexual violence. The International Criminal Court (ICC), in the situation of Kenya, does not regard acts of forced nudity, forcible circumcision and penile amputation as sexual violence when they are motivated by ethnic prejudice and intended to demonstrate the cultural superiority of one tribe over another. The Court argues that not every act of violence that targets parts of the body commonly associated with sexuality should be considered an act of sexual violence. This recent interpretation of what counts as sexual violence provides another example of the complicity of international criminal law institutions in the ongoing construction process of female subordination. The ICC, in the Kenya situation, implicitly confirms the mutilation of female agency by interpreting penile amputation as a kind of power game between males, and by instrumentalizing the male sexual organ as an indicator of masculinity and manhood.

Keywords: sexual violence, international criminal court, intersectionality, Kenya case, masculinity

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2016

Recognition of Gendered Experiences of Harm at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: The Promise and the Pitfalls

Citation:

Sankey, Diana. 2016. “Recognition of Gendered Experiences of Harm at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: The Promise and the Pitfalls.” Feminist Legal Studies 24 (1): 7–27. doi:10.1007/s10691-016-9309-9.

Author: Diane Sankey

Abstract:

Forty years after the beginning of the Khmer Rouge regime, the recent Trial Chamber judgment in case 002/01 before Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has provided legal recognition of the devastating violence of the forced population movements. However, despite the undoubted significance of the judgment, it represents a missed opportunity to more fully reflect issues of gender. The article argues that in order to capture the plurality of gendered experiences it is necessary to foreground a social understanding of harm. Drawing on civil party oral testimony, the article begins to surface gendered experiences of the social harms of familial separation and starvation of family members, harms that have often remained silenced in international criminal law. In doing so it seeks to contribute to emerging feminist discourse on broader gendered harms and illustrates the need for further scrutiny of the approach of the ECCC.

Keywords: Gendered harm, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, International Criminal Law, forced displacement

Topics: Forced Migration, Feminisms, Gender-Based Violence, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts

Year: 2016

International Criminal Law as a Site for Enhancing Women’s Rights? Challenges, Possibilities, Strategies

Citation:

Grewal, Kiran Kaur. 2015. “International Criminal Law as a Site for Enhancing Women’s Rights? Challenges, Possibilities, Strategies.” Feminist Legal Studies 23 (2): 149–65. doi:10.1007/s10691-015-9286-4.

Author: Kiran Kaur Grewal

Abstract:

Many scholars and activists have argued that the International Criminal Court (ICC) holds potential for advancing the rights of women and girls, leading to extensive feminist engagement with and investment in the Court. As the ICC enters its second decade of existence, this article offers a reflection on both the possibilities and the challenges facing feminists. Can the international criminal law really offer a site for enhancing the rights of women? And if so, how? To explore these questions I focus on the interaction between feminist activism and international criminal law institutions in relation to crimes of sexual and gender-based violence. I argue that some of the feminist strategies deployed to get sexual violence onto the international agenda have resulted in perverse outcomes. This should lead us to greater critical reflection regarding how international law conceives of sexual violence and direct our future engagements with international legal institutions. In particular feminist activists and scholars need to move away from focusing on the number of prosecutions towards challenging the international criminal law to characterise the nature of the harm in accordance with a recognition of sexual rights.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence

Year: 2015

Fair labelling and the dilemma of prosecuting gender-based crimes at the international criminal tribunals

Citation:

Zawātī, Ḥilmī. 2014. Fair Labelling and the Dilemma of Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Tribunals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Author: Ḥilmī Zawātī

Annotation:

This scholarly legal work focuses on the dilemma of prosecuting gender-based crimes under the statutes of the international criminal tribunals with reference to the principle of fair labelling. This inquiry deals with gender-based crimes as a case study, within the legal principle and theoretical framework of fair labelling. (WorldCat)

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. Fair labelling as a common legal principle in criminal law

II. Fair labelling and other criminal law principles and concepts

III. Fair labelling and the codification of gender-based crimes in the statutory laws of the international criminal tribunals

IV. Prosecution of gender-based crimes and feminist legal literature

V. The dilemma of prosecuting gender-based crimes at the international criminal tribunals

Conclusion : looking to the future.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Violence

Year: 2014

“New,” “Old,” and “Nested” Institutions and Gender Justice Outcomes: A View from the International Criminal Court

Citation:

Chappell, Louise. 2014. “‘New,’ ‘Old,’ and ‘Nested’ Institutions and Gender Justice Outcomes: A View from the International Criminal Court.” Politics & Gender 10 (04): 572–94. doi:10.1017/S1743923X14000427.

Author: Louise Chappell

Abstract:

What difference do new actors and new institutions make to gender justice outcomes? This article explores this question through an examination of the objectives and influence of “new” international actors on the design and implementation of the “new” victims' rights and gender justice provisions contained in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court's (ICC). Highlighting the role of gender and formal and informal institutions, this article argues that during its first decade in operation, the ICC has produced mixed outcomes in terms of the treatment of victims, especially of conflict-related sexual violence. While there is some sign that the new actors and rules have helped produce some positive outcomes, there are also signs that “old” informal gender rules and the historical context in which the ICC is “nested” has contributed to undermining and distorting news rules aimed at addressing gender injustices. The article suggests that “newness” matters, but so, too, does “oldness” and “nestedness,” and understanding the interaction and relationship between these factors is key to understanding gender justice outcomes.

Topics: Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2014

Defining Sexual Violence as a Crime Against Humanity in Colombia: Recommendations for Law 1719 of 2014

Citation:

Fetterhoff, Christina M. 2014. “Defining Sexual Violence as a Crime Against Humanity in Colombia: Recommendations for Law 1719 of 2014.” Eyes on the ICC 10 (1): 123–46.

Author: Christina M. Fetterhoff

Abstract:

This article examines whether changes to Colombia's Criminal Codes, enacted through new legislation to assure access to justice for victims of sexual violence in the context of armed conflict, provide adequate definitions to bring Colombia in line with international legal standards. If Colombia is successful, it will be able to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the International Criminal Court over these crimes. However, the current definitions of conflict-related crimes of sexual violence fall short of providing Colombia with this option.

Keywords: International Criminal Law, the International Criminal Court, Colombia, complementarity, sexual violence, Crimes against Humanity, war crimes, gender

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, International Criminal Law, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

Women, International Law and International Institutions: The Case of the United Nations

Citation:

Gaer, Felice. 2009. “Women, International Law and International Institutions: The Case of the United Nations.” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (1): 60–66. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.01.006.

Author: Felice Gaer

Abstract:

This final article considers the evolution of women's rights concepts and mechanisms within the United Nations. Gaer writes about this subject both as an historian of and a longstanding activist for women's human rights. She provides a critical history of how “women's” rights have been separated from and connected to “human” rights within the UN. 

Gaer examines how the Commission on the Status of Women, the original UN division which inherited the agenda of the first wave of international feminism, dealt with many of the challenges raised by the activists and organization that proceeded it: making the shift away from great power, Euro American leadership; facing new political environments raised by anti colonial and third world national developments; and expanding the feminist agenda beyond political and civil rights. By ending with an examination of the dilemma of enforcement that the UN still faces with respect to women's human rights, Gaer makes it clear that the subject of international feminism presents challenges that go beyond the academic, and is continuously linked with the efforts and freedom of the world's women.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2009

Justice on Whose Terms? A Critique of International Criminal Justice Responses to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Citation:

St. Germain, Tonia, and Susan Dewey. 2013. “Justice on Whose Terms? A Critique of International Criminal Justice Responses to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.” Women’s Studies International Forum 37 (March): 36–45. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2013.01.006.

Authors: Tonia St. Germain, Susan Dewey

Abstract:

This article argues that the international criminal justice system fails to sufficiently address conflict-related sexual violence in two critical ways: [1] by advocating a pro-prosecution, “end impunity” approach (defined as holding perpetrators accountable through criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings) which applies the prevailing Euro-American model of justice designed to prosecute one man for the rape of one woman to post-conflict zones where widespread sexual violence occurred, and [2] by identifying conflict and post-conflict zones as both discursive and practical sites of pathology that require intervention by elites who strongly identify with a Euro-American liberal individualistic vision of justice. We argue that the international community can no longer conveniently refuse to address the inequalities characterizing the international criminal justice system, in which a tiny minority of self-congratulatory elites uses the noble principles of human rights and justice to advance an agenda that works in their own best interests. To explore possible alternatives to a prosecution-centered approach to conflict-related sexual violence, we employ two African case study examples of community-led gender justice initiatives that have successfully shifted legal discourse while simultaneously transforming wider cultural frameworks.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Post-Conflict, Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2013

Pages

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