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The Prosecution of Gender-based Crimes at the ICC: Challenges and Opportunities

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image of International Criminal Law Review

The ICC statute incorporates a mandate to implement gender-sensitive measures in its structures and procedures, but trials in progress at present demonstrate that the ICC faces considerable challenges in tackling gender-based crimes consistently. The current Article discusses the fact that gender-based crimes are still under-investigated, under-prosecuted and remain the least condemned crime. In the face of considerable difficulties, not least the absence of guidance on the implementation of its statute in this regard and its limited resources, the ICC must make a firm commitment to the prosecution of gender-based crimes. The Article concludes with an analysis of three specific areas: (i) the necessity for the establishment of institutional arrangements for decision-making about prosecutions and investigations; (ii) the necessity for Member States to demonstrate commitment that such crimes will not be tolerated and (iii) the necessity for gender-based crimes to be expressly identified as international crimes.


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