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International Tribunals & Special Courts

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

Traditional justice and legal pluralism in transitional context: The case of Rwanda's Gacaca Courts

Citation:

Nagy, Rosemary, "Traditional justice and legal pluralism in transitional context: The case of Rwanda's Gacaca Courts," in Reconciliation(s): Transitional Justice in Postconflict Societies, ed. Joanna R. Quinn (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009).

Author: Rosemary Nagy

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Impunity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2009

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

‘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: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Security, Sexual Violence

Year: 2014

“Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything”: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Citation:

Koomen, Jonneke. 2013. “‘Without These Women, the Tribunal Cannot Do Anything’: The Politics of Witness Testimony on Sexual Violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.” Signs 38 (2): 253–77. doi:10.1086/667200.

Author: Jonneke Koomen

Abstract:

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established by the UN Security Council to prosecute high-profile organizers of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including those responsible for systematic sexual violence against Rwandan women. Focusing on tribunal cases involving mass rape, I examine how global justice for Rwandan women is produced through the politics of translation and negotiation. Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, I investigate how unspeakable suffering is articulated through witness testimony, translated into the language of international law, and mediated through the tribunal bureaucracy. I examine encounters between international tribunal workers and Rwandan witnesses, specifically how ICTR staff investigate sexual violence, gather witness statements, and render individuals’ stories fit for public appearance at the tribunal. I also explore the conditions under which witnesses tell their stories in ICTR courtrooms. I argue that international justice at the ICTR depends on Rwandan victims and witnesses. At the same time, however, the project of international justice for women depends on routine social practices that at times marginalize Rwandan women as objects of justice. I contend that these practices may, counterintuitively, reinforce the distance between “local victims” and the expansive ambitions of international justice.

Topics: Gender, Genocide, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2013

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