First-Class Crimes, Second-Class Justice: Cumulative Charges for Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Court

in International Criminal Law Review
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Abstract

While sexual and gender-based violence crimes are now prosecutable as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court recently declined to confirm cumulative charges for sexual and gender-based violence in Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Born out of the historical tendency of international criminal tribunals to treat rape and sexual violence as secondary crimes, this paper argues that the International Criminal Court is far from achieving true gender justice, or from serving as a deterrent against sexual and gender-based violence crimes. This paper also argues that the ICC's failure in this regard risks undermining the very legitimacy of the Court.

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