The Prosecution of Gender-based Crimes by International Criminal Courts: An Assessment of Successes

In the last two decades international criminal courts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Tribunal for Rwanda have issued judgments characterizing gender-based crimes as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, depending on the context in which the crimes had been perpetrated. While the International Criminal Court delivered the first judgment in the Case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo in 2012, it did not consider the alleged perpetration of gender-based crimes by the defendant because the Office of the Prosecutor failed to incorporate those crimes among the charges brought against Lubanga Dyilo. Later on, the ICC accepted the inclusion of victims of sexual violence within the scope of the reparations to be awarded in this case. The ICC is also currently considering gender-based crimes in the Katanga Case, the decision of which is forthcoming. The speakers in this panel are both experienced judges of international tribunals who participated in the decision of cases where gender-based crimes were involved. They will assess the successes and failures of these international courts to provide redress to the victims of sexual violence.