Thursday, May 1, 2008

Go On! International Criminal Court prosecution of sexual & gender-based crimes

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia of interest.) On July 1, 2002, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force, thus establishing the world’s first permanent court set up to try persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern. With four investigations of situations ongoing and pre-trial proceedings underway in its first case (prior posts here), the Court is now grappling with how to implement many of the ground-breaking provisions advocates of international justice fought for in the negotiations leading up to Rome Statute, including those relating to sexual and gender-based crimes.
This issue will be addressed at an all-day conference entitled "Prosecuting Sexual and Gender- Based Crimes in the ICC: Translating Promises into Reality" on October 14, 2008, at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C. Save the date!
Leading experts in international criminal law and feminist jurisprudence will come together to take stock of whether and how the ICC (left) is living up to the promise of the Rome Statute to ensure accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes committed in times of conflict or in the context of genocide or crimes against humanity.
Patricia Viseur Sellers, the former Legal Advisor for Gender-Related Crimes at the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, will deliver the keynote address. Panelists of practitioners, scholars, and advocates will address questions such as:
► As an institution, has the ICC staffed itself with the appropriate expertise on sexual and gender-based violence, as envisioned by the Rome Statute? If not, what consequences has this had for victims of sexual and gender-based violence?
► What standards is the Court using to determine which crimes are “grave” enough to investigate and prosecute, and do those standards take into account the possibility of gender bias?
► Do these standards allow for sexual and gender-based crimes to be charged and prosecuted with the same vigor as other crime?
► Are there lessons to be learned from the gender jurisprudence of the ad hoc and hybrid criminal tribunals?
This event is being sponsored by the War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program of Washington College of Law, American University, and by the Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) of the American Society of International Law. Details and registration here.

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