Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

International Tribunals & Special Courts

Why Testify? Witnesses’ Motivations for Giving Evidence in a War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Stepakoff, Shanee, G. Shawn Reynolds, Simon Charters, and Nicola Henry. 2014. “Why Testify? Witnesses’ Motivations for Giving Evidence in a War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 8 (3): 426–51. doi:10.1093/ijtj/iju019.

Authors: Shanee Stepakoff, G. Shawn Reynolds, Simon Charters, Nicola Henry

Abstract:

Although witnesses are indispensable to the operation and success of war crimes courts, little is known about their motivations for agreeing to testify. This article advances existing knowledge by drawing on findings from interviews conducted with 200 witnesses after they gave evidence in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Participants were asked to describe their reasons for testifying. Content analysis was used to examine the variety and frequency of responses. Overall, 18 conceptually distinct motivations were mentioned, with most witnesses reporting multiple motivations. The response given most frequently was ‘to denounce wrongs committed against me during the war,’ followed by ‘to contribute to public knowledge about the war.’ Desires for retributive justice (e.g., accountability, punishment), and to fulfill a moral duty to other victims, were each mentioned by approximately one in four witnesses. Other key motivations included establishing the truth and narrating their stories. Motivations differed by gender, age, victimization status, side (prosecution versus defense) and trial. The results support the idea that witnesses value the opportunity to publicly denounce atrocities committed against themselves and others. The findings point to both congruities and incongruities between the aims of witnesses and the goals of war crimes courts. Further, the findings suggest that there may be two broad, overarching aspects of the decision to testify: those that are primarily geared toward helping oneself and those that are primarily geared toward helping others. Pragmatically, the findings can enhance efforts to support witnesses in preparing for and completing their testimonies.

Keywords: prosecutions, Special Court for Sierra Leone, witnesses, theories of testimony

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Transitional Justice as Recognition: An Analysis of the Women’s Court in Sarajevo

Citation:

Clark, Janine Natalya. 2016. “Transitional Justice as Recognition: An Analysis of the Women’s Court in Sarajevo.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 10 (1): 67–87. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijv027.

Author: Janine Natalya Clark

Abstract:

In May 2015, a women’s court was held in Sarajevo over a four-day period. It was the first such court on European soil in over 40 years and reflected a growing awareness within the former Yugoslavia of the limitations of international and national criminal trials. I attended the Women’s Court, and this article draws on both my experiences as a participant observer and my interviews with some of the organizers and witnesses. Although it is too soon to know whether the Court will produce any substantive results or have any lasting impact, I offer an early analysis. While the organizers of the Court theorized it as feminist justice, I regard feminist justice as part of what Frank Haldemann terms ‘justice as recognition.’ Analyzing and assessing the Court within this conceptual framework, I argue that it successfully delivered justice as recognition at a symbolic level. The challenge now is to translate this symbolic justice as recognition into a more tangible and practical form.

Keywords: Women's Court, former Yugoslavia, justice as recognition, feminist justice, holistic approach

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2016

Transformative Reparations for Women and Girls at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Citation:

Williams, Sarah, and Emma Palmer. 2016. “Transformative Reparations for Women and Girls at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 10 (2): 311–31. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijw006.

Authors: Sarah Williams, Emma Palmer

Abstract:

Reparations programmes are one form of response to violence. However, scholars have criticized their tendency to focus on restoring victims to the position they were in before the conflict began, usually through awarding restitution, compensation or rehabilitation measures. Instead, critics have suggested that reparations should aim to transform the societal conditions that contribute to sexual violence and the inequality of women and girls through recognition, redistribution and representation. This article builds upon this emerging scholarship to explore the potential for transformative reparations in international criminal tribunals through examining the reparations mandate and practice of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). It concludes that the ECCC’s legal and institutional framework, and the context in which it operates, limit the contribution that it can make to transformation. It is therefore important to be realistic about what can be expected from such institutions.

Keywords: reparations, transformation, gender, international criminal justice, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2016

Addressing Sexual Violence in Internationally Mediated Peace Negotiations

Citation:

Jenkins, Robert, and Anne Marie Goetz. 2010. "Addressing Sexual Violence in Internationally Mediated Peace Negotiations." International Peacekeeping 17 (2): 261–77.

Authors: Robert Jenkins , Anne Marie Goetz

Abstract:

Negotiated peace agreements rarely address the legacy of wartime sexual violence committed by state and non-state armed actors, even in cases where mass rape has been a prominent feature of the conflict. This article examines why this has been the case. It assesses the implications of UN Security Council resolution 1820 (June 2008), which calls for internationally mediated peace talks to address conflict-related sexual violence; advances reasons why doing so may contribute to more durable peace; and outlines where specific textual references to sexual violence in peace agreements could enhance the well-being of survivors and reduce the chances of brutal and widespread sexual violence persisting in the post-conflict period. The article focuses on five types (or elements) of peace agreement: (1) early-stage agreements covering humanitarian access and confidence-building measures; (2) ceasefires and ceasefire monitoring; (3) arrangements for demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) and longer-term security sector reform (SSR); (4) post-conflict justice institutions; and (5) provisions relating to reparations for victims of serious human rights abuses.
 

 

Topics: DDR, Economies, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, War Crimes, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2010

The Legacy of Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in the Post-Genocide Era: Stories From Women in Rwanda

Citation:

Russell, Susan Garnett, Sanaya Lim, Paul Kim, and Sophie Morse. 2015. “The Legacy of Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in the Post-Genocide Era: Stories From Women in Rwanda.” Health Care for Women International, August, 1–43.

Author: Susan Garnett Russell, Sanaya Lim, Paul Kim, Sophie Morse

Abstract:

Drawing on qualitative interviews with 22 Rwandan women, we describe the lived experiences of women survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) more than a decade and a half after the 1994 Genocide. We argue that the intersection between GBV and HIV/AIDS has long-term implications: the majority of women interviewed continue to endure trauma, stigma, social isolation, and economic hardship in the post-genocide era and are in need of expanded economic and mental health support. Our findings have implications for the importance of providing integrated psychosocial support to survivors of GBV post-conflict contexts. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, PTSD, Reproductive Health, Trauma, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, War Crimes, Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

In the Midst of War: Women’s Contribution to Peace in Colombia

Citation:

Rojas, Catalina. 2004. In the Midst of War: Women’s Contribution to Peace in Colombia. Cambridge, MA: Hunt Alternatives Fund.

Author: Catalina Rojas

Abstract:

Women have been victims and actors in Colombia’s cycles of violence and peace. In talks organized by President Andrés Pastrana in 1999, women represented both the government and FARC, the major guerrilla group. In 2000, 600 women participated in a women’s public forum that pressed FARC and government leaders to consider women’s concerns. In 2002, women’s groups continued to work towards peace after talks fell apart, reaching a consensus on the issues affecting Colombian women. In spite of the dangers women face as a result of being recognized as political leaders, they remain at the forefront of local efforts for peace.

This publication assesses the importance of a gender perspective in peace negotiations and documents the critical work of women at the local, regional, and national levels to mitigate the effects of continued violence on their communities, mobilize for renewed dialogues, and prepare for the next cycle of peace in Colombia. (Institute for Inclusive Security)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, NGOs, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2004

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

Gendered Justice Gaps in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citation:

Björkdahl, Annika, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2014. “Gendered Justice Gaps in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Human Rights Review 15 (2): 201-18.

Authors: Annika Björkdahl , Johanna Mannergren Selimovic

Abstract:

A gendered reading of the liberal peacebuilding and transitional justice project in Bosnia–Herzegovina raises critical questions concerning the quality of the peace one hopes to achieve in transitional societies. By focusing on three-gendered justice gaps—the accountability, acknowledgement, and reparations gaps—this article examines structural constraints for women to engage in shaping and implementing transitional justice, and unmasks transitional justice as a site for the long-term construction of the gendered post-conflict order. Thus, the gendered dynamics of peacebuilding and transitional justice have produced a post-conflict order characterized by gendered peace and justice gaps. Yet, we conclude that women are doing justice within the Bosnian–Herzegovina transitional justice project, and that their presence and participation is complex, multilayered, and constrained yet critical.

Keywords: gender, gender-just peace, transitional justice, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Critical agency

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2014

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

Pages

© 2019 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 info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - International Tribunals & Special Courts