Prosecuting Wartime Gender-Based Crimes Under Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act: A Speech Delivered Before the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity in a Session on: Sexual Violence During Wartime: A Crime Against Humanity – A Global Issue
7 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2014
Date Written: March 26, 2014
This topic is timely and critical! It’s timely, because the international community is still repeating its mistakes, since rape and other forms of sexual violence continue to be used as a political weapon of war in recent and ongoing armed conflicts, particularly in Syria and Libya. And it is critical, because these crimes have never been adequately prosecuted and punished in any international criminal judicial body, despite considerable improvements in the statutory laws and jurisprudence of the international criminal tribunals and courts, established in the past twenty years.
In addressing this issue, I have briefly highlighted the challenge of prosecuting gender-based crimes in the international criminal tribunals and courts, especially as the Canadian Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act is based on the the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I have also shed some light on the prosecution of crimes against humanity and war crimes under Canadian laws, and finally, concluded by sending a two-fold short appeal to the government of Canada and to victims of wartime sexual violence residing in Canada.
Keywords: Canadian Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act; Wartime rape; sexual violence; Syria; Canada’s criminal code; universal jurisdiction; human rights law; war crimes; crimes against humanity
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