The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice

The latest issue of the International Feminist Journal of Politics (Vol. 16, no. 4, 2014) focuses on "The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice." Contents include:

  • Special Issue: The International Criminal Court – A Site of Gender Justice
    • Louise Chappell & Andrea Durbach, Introduction: The International Criminal Court: A Site of Gender Justice?
    • Fatou Bensouda, Foreword: Gender Justice and the ICC: Progress and Reflections
    • Andrea Durbach & Louise Chappell, Leaving Behind the Age of Impunity: Victims of Gender Violence and the Promise of Reparations
    • Valerie Oosterveld, Constructive Ambiguity and the Meaning of “Gender” for the International Criminal Court
    • Jonneke Koomen, Language Work at International Criminal Courts
    • Rosemary Grey, Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers: The Limits and Potential of International Criminal Law
    • Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Gendered Harms and their Interface with International Criminal Law: Norms, Challenges and Domestication
    • Louise Chappell, Andrea Durbach & Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito, Judge Odio Benito: A View of Gender Justice From the Bench
    • Louise Chappell & Brigid Inder, Advocating for International Gender Justice: A Conversation with Brigid Inder
    • Sari Kouvo, Review Essay: Feminism, Gender and International (Criminal) Law: From Asking the “Woman Question” in Law to Moving Beyond Law

Fatou Bensouda writes in the foreword:

As we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2012, it provided an opportunity to review and take stock of the Office of the Prosecutor's (OTP's) achievements and challenges. The way international criminal justice has evolved in recent decades regarding its approach to sexual and gender violence is reflective of how far the international community has come. One should remember that at the Nuremberg trials, sexual and gender crimes were not presented in the cases against Nazi leaders, even though it was known that such crimes took place during the conflict.


Prior to the last twenty years, sexual violence and other gendered experiences in war were all but ignored or dismissed as regrettable but unavoidable; a part of the inevitable consequences of war and a just “reward” for fighting soldiers. Neither World War I nor World War II provides good estimates of girls and women raped or murdered through sexualized torture, and the prosecutorial initiatives following World War II largely overlooked these crimes. Thus for much too long perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes have believed there would not be any repercussions for their actions. But this has changed with the commitment of states, the initiatives of the United Nations and civil society and the work of the ICC, and now is the time for action. Indeed, the world is at a historical juncture at which the investigation and prosecution of these crimes must be made a priority.

Access the articles here.