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International Criminal Law

Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers

Citation:

Grey, Rosemary. 2014. “Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (4): 601–21. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.955964.

Author: Rosemary Grey

Abstract:

In addition to participating in hostilities, girl soldiers are often raped, sexually enslaved and used as “bush wives” by their commanders and fellow soldiers. As this issue of sexual violence against girl soldiers has become increasingly visible in recent cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), attempts have been made to prosecute this conduct within the established framework of international criminal law. Most recently, this issue has been addressed in the case of The Prosecutor v Bosco Ntaganda, one of the six cases that have come before the ICC from the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 9 June 2014, the Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed the charges in the Ntaganda case, and found that the rape and sexual slavery of girl soldiers in Ntaganda's armed group by other members of that group could constitute war crimes under Article 8(2)(e)(vi) of the Rome Statute. This article considers what the Ntaganda decision adds to the jurisprudence on sexual violence against child soldiers, and what it demonstrates about the limits of the law.

Keywords: sexual violence, child soldiers, war crimes, international criminal court, Ntaganda case

Topics: Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rape, SV against Men Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

Domestic Accountability for Sexual Violence: The Potential of Specialized Units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda

Citation:

Seelinger, Kim Thuy. 2015. “Domestic Accountability for Sexual Violence: The Potential of Specialized Units in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda.” International Review of the Red Cross 96 (894): 539–64.

Author: Kim Thuy Seelinger

Abstract:

From 2011 to 2014, the Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law conducted qualitative research in Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda to identify accountability mechanisms and challenges related to sexual violence committed during periods of conflict or political unrest. This article shares two aspects of that research: first, it presents key challenges related to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of sexual violence committed during and after the periods of recent conflict. Second, it flags the emergence of specialized units tasked with investigating and prosecuting either sexual and gender-based violence or international crimes, noting the operational gap between these institutions. It notes that if not bridged, this gap may impede responses for the intersecting issue of sexual violence committed as an international crime. The article closes with recommendations for a more coordinated response and more accountability at the domestic level.

Keywords: sexual violence, conflict-related sexual violence, international crimes, Rome Statute, complementarity, accountability, wartime rape, specialized units, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2014

Gender Hate Propaganda and Sexual Violence in the Rwandan Genocide: An Argument for Intersectionality in International Law

Citation:

Coleman, Llezlie Green. 2002. “Gender Hate Propaganda and Sexual Violence in the Rwandan Genocide: An Argument for Intersectionality in International Law.” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 33 (3): 733-76.

Author: Llezlie Green Coleman

Abstract:

This article explores the gendered dimensions of genocidal hate propaganda before and during the Rwandan genocide and proposes that the international tribunal consider these cases with an intersectional approach that attempts to fully appreciate the harm inflicted upon Tutsi women.

Keywords: human rights, genocide, critical theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Non-State Armed Groups, Race, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2002

Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice

Citation:

Rimmer, Susan Harris. 2010. “Sexing the Subject of Transitional Justice.” The Australian Feminist Law Journal 32: 123-47.

Author: Susan Harris Rimmer

Abstract:

In the absence of the requisite political will at both the domestic and international level, transitional justice mechanisms can be manipulated or rendered impotent, whilst creating false expectations, waylaying the efforts of human rights advocates and costing millions of donor dollars. A feminist strategic legalist approach would focus on gaining the full participation of women in peace negotiations and key decisions about transitional justice processes and the development of a justice sector, and preserving evidence and acquiring data in relation to international and domestic gender crimes for the day when fair trials can be held. The formal ending of violence does not necessarily mean the achievement of peace, rather it provides a 'new set of opportunities that can be grasped or thrown away'. Law in a transitional period might hold an 'independent potential for effecting transformative politics' and 'liberalising' change. On the other hand, in the context of the societal breakdown caused by armed conflict, feminist scholars may be asking international law to engage in too much 'heavylifting'. If transitional justice represents theory and praxis in a liminal zone between international relations and international law, both of which have proved resistant to feminist analysis, why are many feminists so confident that transitional justice represents an opportunity for transformative change?

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2010

Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court

Citation:

Chappell, Louise. 2010. “Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court.” Politics & Gender 6 (3): 484-95.

Author: Louise Chappell

Abstract:

Imagine this: a court presided over by a majority of women judges--many of whom are from racially marginalized backgrounds--and which has a "constitution" that has gender justice at its core. Incredibly, given what we know about gender and judging cross-nationally, this is not some utopian vision but the current reality at the International Criminal Court (ICC). As of May 2010, the 18 member ICC bench consisted of 11 women judges, most of whom were from outside the West and many of whom have expertise in gender-based violence. This development raises a range of important questions, two of which I want to speculate on in the following discussion: How is it that the sex profile of the ICC bench differs so dramatically from domestic-level courts? What difference might this profile make to the transformation of international law in terms of expanding gender justice principles?

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2010

Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking

Citation:

Surtees, Rebecca. 2008. “Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking.” European Journal of Criminology 5 (1): 39–68. doi:10.1177/1477370807084224.

Author: Rebecca Surtees

Abstract:

This paper describes patterns of trafficking from and within South-Eastern Europe, with particular attention to traffickers and their activities. This helps to determine the most effective methods of tackling these grave crimes through the strategic use of the criminal justice system. To date, attention has primarily been paid to victims of trafficking – who they are and what makes them vulnerable – in an effort to develop counter-trafficking interventions. To complement these studies of victims, studies of traffickers and their operations are also required. There is a need to address traffickers’ behavior through more effective law enforcement and through legal, social and economic reforms that will cause them to reassess the economic benefits of pursuing this strategy.

Keywords: criminal justice, prevention, prosecution, protection, recruitment, South-Eastern Europe, trafficker profiles, trafficking operations, Trafficking

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2008

Force & Marriage: The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage in Dutch, English and International Criminal Law

Citation:

Haenen, Iris. 2014. Force & Marriage: The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage in Dutch, English and International Criminal Law. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia.

Author: Iris Haenen

Abstract:

Forced marriages take place all over the world, both in times of peace and in times of conflict. Media attention and judicial scrutiny have helped place this practice in the legal and political limelight, requiring national governments and the international community alike to develop strategies to deal with this human rights violation. On the level of national law, several countries have introduced a specific offense of forced marriage in their criminal laws. On the level of international law, courts and tribunals have deliberated on how to legally classify this practice and are faced with the question of whether or not forced marriage should be seen as a 'new' crime against humanity. This book provides a comparative perspective on the criminalization of forced marriage, focusing on the question of whether - and, if so, how - the practice of forced marriage should be criminalized under both Dutch and international law. After offering a thorough description of the phenomenon of forced marriage in and outside of conflict situations, a synthesized doctrinal foundation for criminalization on the national and international level is presented. Next, the book delves into international case law and criminal law concerning the act of forced marriage. It goes on to provide a comprehensive overview of and comparison between Dutch and English criminal law and civil law. It then discusses whether forced marriage should be criminalized in Dutch law and whether it should be added to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as a distinct crime against humanity, war crime, or act of genocide.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2014

Gender Violence or Violence Against Women? The Treatment of Forced Marriage in the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Citation:

Slater, Rachel. 2012. “Gender Violence or Violence Against Women? The Treatment of Forced Marriage in the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” Melbourne Journal of International Law 13 (2):  732.

Author: Rachel Slater

Abstract:

The article considers the case for viewing forced marriage, a prevalent form of violence suffered by women during the Sierra Leone conflict, as a gender crime. The article begins with a brief examination of the Special Court for Sierra Leone trials, commonly known as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council Trial, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council Appeal, the Revolutionary United Front Trial and the Charles Taylor Trial. Part IV then puts forward a conceptualisation of forced marriage as a gender crime and not purely violence suffered by women. It is argued that in order to fully reflect the nature of the harm suffered, the gender element of the violence must be foregrounded. This argument rejects calls for forced marriage to be viewed as enslavement or sexual slavery and emphasises the specific harm stemming from the label ‘wife’ as demonstrative of the force of socially assigned gender roles; these roles are integral to the crime rather than just forming the broader social context. This suggests that forced marriage as a gender crime should be seen as a stand-alone crime separate from other instances of forced marriage. In Part V and Part VI, it will be argued that the categorisation of forced marriage as a gender crime is a vital step towards the recognition of this type of gender violence as being within the scope of international law. Specifically, this article considers the characterisation of forced marriage under international criminal law in light of its interest to international refugee law, where similar violence might be raised as ‘persecution’ under the definition in art 1A(2) of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

‘Forced Marriage’ in Conflict Situations: Researching and Prosecuting Old Harms and New Crimes

Citation:

Bunting, Annie. 2012. “‘Forced Marriage’ in Conflict Situations: Researching and Prosecuting Old Harms and New Crimes.” Canadian Journal of Human Rights 1 (1): 165-185.

Author: Annie Bunting

Abstract:

In 2008, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) found “forced marriage” to be a new crime against humanity, distinct from the crime of sexual slavery. With expert evidence on the abduction and forced labour of women and girls during the extended conflict in Sierra Leone, the SCSL found such forced conjugal association to be part of the widespread or systematic attack on the civilian population in Sierra Leone. This article examines the Court’s decision in the context of developments of international criminal law and with comparisons to similar gender violence in Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The author argues that practices described as “forced marriage” in these conflict situations ought to be charged as “enslavement” and not a new crime against humanity – the other inhumane act of forced marriage.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

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