International Tribunals & Special Courts

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative

Citation:

Mibenge, Chiseche Salome. 2013. Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. 

Author: Chiseche Salome Mibenge

Abstract:

Before the twenty-first century, there was little legal precedent for the prosecution of sexual violence as a war crime. Now, international tribunals have the potential to help make sense of political violence against both men and women; they have the power to uphold victims' claims and to convict the leaders and choreographers of systematic atrocity. However, by privileging certain accounts of violence over others, tribunals more often confirm outmoded gender norms, consigning women to permanent rape victim status.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

Trying International Crimes on Local Lawns: The Adjudication of Genocide Sexual Violence Crimes in Rwanda's Gacaca Courts

Citation:

Amick, Emily. 2011. “Trying International Crimes on Local Lawns: The Adjudication of Genocide Sexual Violence Crimes in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts.” Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 20 (2). http://cjgl.cdrs.columbia.edu/article/trying-international-crimes-on-local-lawns-the-adjudication-of-genocide-sexual-violence-crimes-in-rwandas-gacaca-courts/.

Author: Emily Amick

Abstract:

During the Rwandan genocide sexual violence was used as a weapon of war to ravage a people. Women were tortured psychologically, physically and emotionally. For some women the “dark carnival” of the genocide has not ended. Living side by sidewith the men who committed violence against them, they must confront their past every day. This Article explores how, post-genocide, the country has come to adjudicate these crimes in gacaca. Gacaca is a unique method of transitional justice, one that calls upon traditional roots, bringing community members together to find the truth of what happened during the genocide and punish those who perpetrated violence. One scholar calls gacaca, “one of the boldest and most original ‘legal-social’ experiments ever attempted in the field of transitional justice.” Others, however, criticize gacaca for the impunity it grants to crimes committed by the current ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and its lack of due process and nonconformance to international fair trial processes. Most authors find that, for cases of sexual violence, gacaca is a wholly unsuitable forum.

Topics: Gender, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against Women, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2011

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

Leaving Behind the Age of Impunity

Citation:

Durbach, Andrea, and Louise Chappell. 2014. “Leaving Behind the Age of Impunity.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (4): 543–62. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.941251.

Authors: Andrea Durbach, Louise Chappell

Abstract:

As sexual violence in conflict – predominantly affecting women and girls – appears to increase in prevalence, gender justice advocates are calling for a reparations model that is not only restorative, but also, and more critically, preventative or transformative. This article asks whether the reparations mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Trust Fund for Victims has the potential to address the pre-conflict structural inequalities that often contribute to the sexual violence and harm experienced during and post-conflict. Drawing on social theorist Nancy Fraser's model of trivalent justice and the ICC's first reparations decision in Lubanga, this article argues that the design of the ICC's court-ordered reparations mandate, and the unrealistic expectations it raises, may make it untenable to support the key transformative elements of recognition, representation and redistribution essential to addressing structural inequities contributing to conflict-related sexual violence. It suggests however, that modifying initiatives of the ICC's Trust Fund for Victims and a greater emphasis by the ICC on the notion of member state “reparative complementarity” may provide mechanisms for transforming conditions that trigger and perpetuate gender violence during conflict.

Keywords: conflict-related sexual violence against women, international criminal court, reparations, Nancy Fraser

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, Impunity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2014

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

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