One of the main revolutionary advances in international law has been in prosecuting various forms of gender-related crimes. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally listed rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and other forms of sexual violence as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Currently the ICC is dealing with cases from Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda, the Darfur conflict in Sudan, post-election violence in Kenya, the Ivory Coast, and from the recent Libyan uprising. In June 2011, an ICC team began a preliminary investigation of sex crimes committed by loyalists of the slain dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
In cultures and countries like Libya, speaking about sex and sexual violence is taboo. The main question of my research is, under such circumstances, what mechanisms should the ICC deploy to reach the truth regarding the legal, cultural, and social complexities of a society? We will compare the charges, process of prosecution, and final decisions of ICC cases. We will also review the historical development of international criminal laws relevant to women during periods of war or mass violence, and examine how jurisprudence developed internationally. The research explores specific challenges that might arise in the process of investigation and prosecution of sexual violence concentrated on Libya, as well as the ICC’s responses to these challenges. We will also examine new developments in international systems and women's rights initiatives on gender-based crimes to reach justice.
I am looking for a research partner with a background in human rights, gender studies, or law. The ideal research partner would also be able to read and understand Arabic and is familiar with Middle Eastern culture. The student would be expected to read and collect news stories and cases and summarize them in Arabic or English. The student would assist in interviewing activists and lawyers. In turn, the research partner would gain valuable research and interviewing skills.