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International 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

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner

Abstract:

In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence

Citation:

Zorn, Jean G. 2016. "Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence." In Gender Violence & Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, edited by Aletta Biersack, Margaret Jolly, and Martha Macintyre, 229-70. Australia: ANU Press.

Author: Jean G. Zorn

Annotation:

"CEDAW has had a salutary effect on the island nations of the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea. To say that, however, is not to say very much. To date, CEDAW’s effect has been limited— and the problems of women’s subordination and of widespread, systemic violence against women remain obdurate and intractable. Nevertheless, it is a beginning. Guided by the analyses of Meyersfeld and Koh, who pointed out that the first impact of an international law on the politics, economy and social ordering of any culture will most likely be found in the legal practices of that culture, I sought for evidence of CEDAW in the decisions handed down by judges of the state courts. And, indeed, I found a number of cases—still scattered, but potentially influential—in which judges have not only mentioned CEDAW’s existence, but have actually relied upon it in framing the common law and in applying domestic statutes. In other words, in the Meyersfeld/Koh terminology, judges are aiding the infiltration of this crucially important piece of international law into the domestic legal system" (Zorn, 2016, p. 262).

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Year: 2016

Peacebuilding Through a Gender Lens and the Challenges of Implementation in Rwanda and Côte d'Ivoire

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2009. “Peacebuilding Through a Gender Lens and the Challenges of Implementation in Rwanda and Cote d'Ivoire.” Security Studies 18 (2): 287–318.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

With the hypothesis in mind that discrimination against women increases the likelihood that a state will experience internal conflict, this article contends that considering gender is a key part of an effective peacebuilding process. Evidence gathered by studying peacebuilding from a feminist perspective, such as in Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire, can be used to reconceptualize the peace agenda in more inclusive and responsible ways. Following from this, the article argues that a culturally contextual gender analysis is a key tool, both for feminist theory of peacebuilding and the practice of implementing a gender perspective, in all peace work. Using the tools of African feminisms to study African conflicts, this contribution warns against “adding women” without recognizing their agency, emphasizes the need for an organized women’s movement, and suggests directions for the implementation of international laws concerning women’s empowerment at the local level. The article concludes by suggesting that implementation of these ideas in practice is dependent on the way in which African feminists employ main- streaming, inclusionary, and transformational strategies within a culturally sensitive context of indigenous peacebuilding processes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Genocide, Gendered Discourses, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Non-state armed groups, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Côte D'Ivoire, Rwanda

Year: 2009

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

The False Choice between Universalism and Religion/Culture

Citation:

Nayak, Meghana. 2013. “The False Choice between Universalism and Religion/Culture.” Politics & Gender 9 (01): 120–25. doi:10.1017/S1743923X12000785.

Author: Meghana Nayak

Abstract:

I seek to engage the authors in a deeper interrogation of their claims, particularly that societies can mitigate the evolutionary legacy of patriarchy by limiting the influence of religious/cultural enclaves and instead promoting universalism, as exemplified in CEDAW and international law. I challenge and politicize this alleged “choice” between universalism and cultural/religious enclaves/relativism, as it ultimately rests on a series of too-easy dichotomies (secular/religious, western/nonwestern) that may inadvertently stymie collaborative attempts between “western” and “non-western” feminists to challenge inequitable family law and gender violence. Hudson, Bowen, and Nielsen (2011) do offer critiques of western states. They are careful to point out nuances, subtleties, and complexities with their concept of religious/cultural enclaves. They also convincingly broaden the concept of gender equality beyond formal political rights to the kind of social, legal, and economic justice encapsulated in equitable family law and freedom from violence. And, they provoke an examination of why and how gender equality and gender violence are linked. But I suggest that their empirical research might have better traction by taking seriously two problematic implications of championing the “universal” as necessarily progressive: the failure to recognize patriarchy as part of universalism; and the inattention to why and how religious/cultural enclaves are patriarchal.

Topics: Feminisms, Patriarchy, International Law, International Human Rights

Year: 2013

Feminist Perspectives on Contemporary International Law: Between Resistance and Compliance?

Citation:

Kouvo, Sari, and Zoe Pearson, eds. 2011. Feminist Perspectives on Contemporary International Law between Resistance and Compliance? Oxford; Portland, Or.: Hart.

Authors: Sari Kouvo, Zoe Pearson

Abstract:

"The essays in this volume analyse feminism's positioning vis-à-vis international law and the current paradigms of international law. The authors argue that, willingly or unwillingly, feminist perspectives on international law have come to be situated between 'resistance' and 'compliance'. That is, feminist scholarship aims at deconstructing international law to show why and how 'women' have been marginalised; at the same time feminists have been largely unwilling to challenge the core of international law and its institutions, remaining hopeful of international law's potential for women" (WorldCat).

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

Talking to ourselves? : Feminist scholarship in international law / Hilary Charlesworth

Searching for virtue in international law / Yoriko Otomo

Feminist project(s) : the spaces of international law / Zoe Pearson

Remapping crisis through a feminist lens / Dianne Otto

Road blocks, blind spots, speed bumps : a feminist look at the post-9/11 landscape for NGOs / Julie Mertus

The politics of inevitability : an examination of Janet Halley's critique of the criminalisation of rape as torture / Maria Grahn-Farley

Missionary zeal for a secular mission : bringing gender to transitional justice and redemption to feminism / Vasuki Nesiah

Taking women seriously? : Conflict, state-building and gender in Afghanistan / Sari Kouvo

Trafficking in human beings : vulnerability, criminal law and human rights / Ulrika Andersson

Women workers take over power at the margins : economic resistance, political compliance / Dania Thomas.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Law

Year: 2011

Women at the Margins of International Law: Reconceptualizing Dominant Discourses on Gender and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Vijeyarasa, Ramona. 2013. “Women at the Margins of International Law: Reconceptualizing Dominant Discourses on Gender and Transitional Justice.” The International Journal of Transitional Justice 7 (2): 358–69.

Author: Ramona Vijeyarasa

Topics: Women, Gender Analysis, International Law, Transitional Justice

Year: 2013

Legal Violence Against Syrian Female Refugees in Turkey

Citation:

Kivilcim, Zeynep. 2016. “Legal Violence Against Syrian Female Refugees in Turkey.” Feminist Legal Studies 24 (2): 193–214. doi:10.1007/s10691-016-9323-y.

Author: Zeynep Kivilcim

Abstract:

Turkey hosts the world’s largest community of Syrians displaced by the ongoing armed conflict. The object of this article is to explore the damaging effects of a hostile legal context on female Syrian refugees in Turkey. I base my analysis on scholarship that theorises immigration legislation as a system of legal violence and I argue that the Temporary Protection Regulation and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection that govern the legal status of refugees in Turkey inflict legal violence on Syrian female refugees. This legislation keeps them in the regime of temporary protection and prevents their access to international protection. The temporary protection regime serves furthermore as the main determinant for other forms of legal violence inflicted by various actors. I explore the effects of the Turkish government’s inaction in terms of preventing and sanctioning the abuse of Syrian female refugees as unpaid sex and household workers. I show that the extended legal limbo on the conditions of employment of Syrian refugees secures female Syrians as the most precarious workforce for Turkey’s various sectors. Finally I claim that the forced confinement of Syrian beggars in refugee camps is instrumentalised for their disciplinary regulation.

Keywords: Legal violence, Syrian refugees, Temporary protection, Turkey

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, International Law, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Syria, Turkey

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

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