This timely work examines whether the assumptions made by feminist scholars are solidly grounded in international law and whether their claims are still valid regarding the latest legal developments. A thorough examination of the laws and the jurisprudence relating to sexual offences demonstrates that whereas before the creation of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals some of their claims were founded, these claims are now partially ill-founded.
Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
As a growing number of stories unravelled the involvement of United Nations peacekeepers in human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases, the United Nations adopted in 2003 and implemented a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual encounters between peacekeepers and local women. This article argues that this policy is flawed for a number of reasons. First, it does not apply to all United Nations-related personnel and thereby fails to target those who are mostly engaged in such activities. Second, it only provides for disciplinary measures, a flaw only partially remedied by the draft convention on the criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission. Third, it does not take into account the jurisprudence of international criminal tribunals on sexual offences, for it negates the possibility of consent.
Whilst most legal scholarship focuses on the responsibility of the United Nations for human rights violations few studies have ascertained the legal basis of the primary rules leading to such responsibility. This article fills this gap by reviewing the theories used to bind the un to customary human rights law: (1) the un has inherited its member states’ obligations, (2) participation in the formation of customary human rights law implies being bound by it, (3) the un is bound by international law because it has legal personality and (4) as the un is embedded in international law it must comply with its norms. Such theories are further tested against the backdrop of international organizations’ theories. The article draws the conclusion that (1) should be rejected, (2) is not yet legally sound and (3)-(4), despite their flaws, are more persuasive. Ultimately, recourse must be had to general international law.