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Domestic Adjudication of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Armed Conflict: Considerations for Prosecutors and Judges

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The increased domestication of international core crimes like genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes has placed national prosecutors and judges on unfamiliar ground. Specifically, though very welcome, the recognition of acts of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as constituting core international crimes poses a further challenge. The circumstances surrounding the commission of SGBV as international core crimes, coupled with their unique elements and manner of proof, makes their domestic prosecution seem that much more difficult. An understanding of how acts of SGBV constitute international core crimes, their constituent elements and the manner of proving them, coupled with how to treat victims and witnesses of SGBV, goes a long way in easing the perceived challenge of domestically prosecuting them. This article is geared towards achieving that and is directed at people who are involved in or are considering carrying out domestic prosecutions and adjudications of SGBV as international core crimes.

Affiliations: 1: Appeals Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor, ICTR Arusha Tanzania


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