Forced Marriage and the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Legal Advances and Conceptual Difficulties

in Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

Forced marriage was endemic during the Sierra Leonean conflict. Girls and women forced to serve as 'wives' to rebel soldiers were usually expected to submit to ongoing rape and to provide domestic labour to their 'husbands'. Many of these 'wives' suffer from continuing stigmatization. The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone brought forced marriage charges as a crime against humanity through the category of inhumane acts against Brima, Kamara and Kanu, affiliated with the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and Sesay, Kallon and Gbao, affiliated with the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). This article considers two benefits stemming from the resulting jurisprudence: the naming of forced marriage as an inhumane act and the acknowledgement of forced marriage as a violation not captured by other legal terms. However, conceptual difficulties remain: how should forced marriage be defined so as to fulfil the principle of nullum crimen sine lege? Is forced marriage more accurately labelled as enslavement? And, is conjugality accurately captured as a defining feature of forced marriage? If forced marriage is to be successfully prosecuted in other contexts – for example, in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – then more attention must be paid to resolving these questions.

Forced Marriage and the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Legal Advances and Conceptual Difficulties

in Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

Sections

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 41 41 23
Full Text Views 93 93 64
PDF Downloads 8 8 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0