Wartime Sexual Violence as More than Collateral Damage: Classifying Sexual Violence as Part of a Common Criminal Plan in International Criminal Law

32 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2018

Date Written: April 1, 2018

Abstract

In its first final judgment, the International Criminal Court ('ICC') convicted Congolese militia leader, Germain Katanga, for the crimes of murder, directing an attack against a civilian population, destruction of property, and pillaging, committed by members of his militia during an attack on Bogoro village in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ('DRC'). However, Katanga was acquitted of individual responsibility for rape and sexual slavery, found to have been committed by his militia during and in the direct aftermath of the attack, as these crimes were considered to be outside the ethnic cleansing common purpose under which the combatants acted. The Court's failure to connect this sexual violence to Katanga and the objectives of the attack is unsurprising. It reflects the longstanding narrative of wartime sexual violence as an inevitable collateral damage of war - a private act of unbridled male lust, not a tool for the achievement of political and military objectives.

Keywords: International Criminal Law, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, International Criminal Court, International Criminal Tribunal

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Sarah, Wartime Sexual Violence as More than Collateral Damage: Classifying Sexual Violence as Part of a Common Criminal Plan in International Criminal Law (April 1, 2018). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3153875

Sarah Schwartz (Contact Author)

University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NC NSW 2006
Australia

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