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International Tribunals & Special Courts

Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict: Notes from the Field

Citation:

Teale, Lotta. 2009. “Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict: Notes from the Field.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9 (2): 69-90.

Author: Lotta Teale

Abstract:

Sierra Leone’s transition has witnessed a number of landmark procedural and legal innovations which have had widespread implications for international gender justice. The 11-year conflict had shattered the country, leaving more than a million people displaced and thousands of women coping with the aftermath of sexual violence. Then, in 1999, the Lomé Peace Accord in 1999 traded amnesty for peace and made provision for the establishment of the Sierra Leone Truth Commission. The United Nations Security Council subsequently established a Special Court to prosecute those who bore ‘the greatest responsibility’ for atrocities committed during the conflict. However, while both the Truth Commission and the Special Court made some unique strides in promoting gender justice, the perception among gender activists is that both initiatives fell short in addressing the country’s gender-based human rights violations. Questions abound over the real impact of the Special Court, not least because there are issues over how much justice victims achieve through the prosecution of only those with command responsibility. Although the Truth Commission had a more far-reaching ambit and did confront some aspects of the country’s gendered past, its long-term impact has yet to be realised and its gender-sensitive recommendations have yet to be implemented. This article will assess Sierra Leone’s transition through an analysis of its successes and failures in addressing gender-based violations committed during the conflict and will examine how far gender justice has been achieved.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity: Problems of Definition and Prosecution

Citation:

Jain, Neha. 2008. “Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity: Problems of Definition and Prosecution.” Journal of International Criminal Justice 6 (5): 1013–32.

Author: Neha Jain

Abstract:

Forced marriages are a pervasive feature of armed conflicts around the world, such as in Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Rwanda and Uganda. Despite forced marriage having been charged and recently affirmed as an international crime before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), courts and commentators have paid little attention to examining its viability as a distinct category of crime in international law. This article analyses the SCSL's characterization of forced marriage as conduct subsumed within the category of other inhumane acts. It isolates the constituent elements of the crime of forced marriage through comparative case studies of Sierra Leone and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. The author addresses the issue of whether forced marriage can be distinguished from arranged marriages on the one hand, and sexual slavery on the other, to justify its prosecution as an ‘other inhumane act’ as part of crimes against humanity.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, International Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2008

Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa: Progress and Prospects

Citation:

Scanlon, Helen, and Kelli Muddell. 2009. “Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa: Progress and Prospects.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9 (2): 9-28.

Authors: Helen Scanlon , Kelli Muddell

Abstract:

During the past few decades, different models of transitional justice (TJ) have developed throughout Africa to try to address the mass human rights abuses that have occurred during conflicts. These mechanisms, both judicial and nonjudicial, have often failed to adequately tackle the extensive gender-based violence that has been prevalent on the continent. This article examines the ways truth commissions, legal mechanisms, reparations, security sector reform efforts, and traditional mechanisms in Africa have dealt with gender-based human rights violations. While recent African TJ mechanisms have been innovative in developing means to address crimes against women, these mechanisms continue to fail victims. This is in large part because the current discourse on gender and transitional justice needs to be broadened to better address women’s experiences of conflict. Future TJ initiatives need to re-examine the types of violations prioritised, and recognise the continuum of violence that exists in pre-conflict and post-conflict societies. It is also important to challenge the transitional justice field to stop reducing sexual-based violence to ‘women’s problems’, and explore how men are affected by the gendered dynamics of conflict.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa

Year: 2009

‘Other Inhumane Acts’: Forced Marriage, Girl Soldiers and the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Citation:

Park, Augustine S. J. 2006. “‘Other Inhumane Acts’: Forced Marriage, Girl Soldiers and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” Social & Legal Studies 15 (3): 315–37.

 

Author: Augustine S. J. Park

Abstract:

The decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone gained international notoriety for the widespread use of child soldiers, and the sexual abuse and ‘forced’ marriage of girl soldiers. For the first time in international legal history, ‘forced marriage’ is being prosecuted as a ‘crime against humanity’ in Sierra Leone’s post-conflict ‘Special Court’. This represents an important step in advancing the human rights of girls, and follows a growing trend in international criminal prosecution of gender offences. Notwithstanding the significance of this indictment, international law is no panacea for the deeper inequalities and vulnerabilities that girls experience in peacetime and in wartime. This article advocates a specific focus on girls, who are often ‘disappeared’ under discourses of children and women. Moreover, using recommendations from Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this article attempts to point to social and economic inequalities that must be addressed alongside criminal prosecution of gendered crimes against humanity.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2006

Taking Machismo to Court: The Gender Jurisprudence of the Colombian Constitutional Court

Citation:

Morgan, Martha I. 1999. "Taking Machismo to Court: The Gender Jurisprudence of the Colombian Constitutional Court." The University of Miami Inter-American Law Review 30 (2): 253-342.

Author: Martha I. Morgan

Topics: Gender, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 1999

Rethinking the Spoils of War: Prosecuting Rape as a War Crime in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Coan, Christin B. 2001. “Rethinking the Spoils of War: Prosecuting Rape as a War Crime in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 26 (1): 183-237.

Author: Christin B. Coan

Topics: Gender, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2001

Women’s International Tribunal on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery

Citation:

Chinkin, Christine M. 2001. “Women’s International Tribunal on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery.” The American Journal of International Law 95 (2): 335-41. doi:10.2307/2661399.

Author: Christine M. Chinkin

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2001

International Protection for the Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict?

Citation:

Freedman, Jane. 2009. “International Protection for the Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict?” Paper presented at the International Studies Association’s 50th Annual Convention, New York, February 15.

Author: Jane Freedman

Annotation:

Despite the recognition of rape as a war crime by international policy-making organisations and international criminal tribunals,  it is still difficult for the victims of rape during wars to access national and international protection or reparation.

Topics: Armed Conflict, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, War Crimes, Sexual Violence

Year: 2009

Rape at Rome: Feminist Interventions in the Criminalization of Sex Related Violence in Positive International Criminal Law

Citation:

Halley, Janet. 2008. “Rape at Rome: Feminist Interventions in the Criminalization of Sex Related Violence in Positive International Criminal Law.” Michigan Journal of International Law 30: 1–123.

Author: Janet Halley

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence

Year: 2008

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