Copyright (c) 2009 Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University Law Journal
Article: A Shift Towards Gender Equality in Prosecutions: Realizing Legitimate Enforcement of Crimes Committed Against Women in Municipal and International Criminal Law
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL
33 S. Ill. U. L. J. 181
Tamara F. Lawson*
In 2002, during the "Crimes Against Women Under International Law Symposium" at the University of California, Berkeley, Louise Arbour, the former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), spoke about an important connection between national and international criminal prosecutions. She acknowledged that the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY struggled with certain issues when prosecuting crimes against women. Although the ICTY, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), have obtained successful judgments on important cases alleging crimes against women, 1 Arbour attributes this success to the foundational or grassroots work done in national legal systems. Arbour stated that the advancements achieved at the international level were possible because of the years of advocacy on behalf of women at the national level on these issues:
[I]n domestic jurisdictions, it took us 100 years to get to that level of sophistication with respect to the relevance of certain materials in the prosecution and the defense of sexual violence. . . . In the end, it's probably a good thing that these international institutions are catching on to the cutting-edge litigation that is taking place in our own [national] systems. 2
History is full of horrific examples of violence against women, 3 yet except for very recent efforts, 4 the world has failed to prosecute the offenders. This article explores the reasons behind the recent progress toward genuine prosecution of crimes against women. The heightened societal awareness of ...
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