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Gender and Sexual Violence under the Rome Statute

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Chapter Summary

World War II Tribunals largely ignored gender crimes. Things changed only 40 years later, when rape and other forms of sexual violence committed in the context of war or mass atrocity finally received their deserved attention. The primary reason for the new developments in redressing sex crimes was not only the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague in 1993, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha in 1995, but mainly their revolutionary case law. Obviously, no treaty or court judgment can remedy the consequences of sexual violence or undo a society's gender attitudes that often increase the suffering to include shame and guilt. The Rome Statute and Rules of Evidence and Procedure however provide a strong basis for addressing successfully rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.

Keywords: gender crimes; ICTY; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); Rome Statute; sexual violence



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