By: Carmel O'Sullivan
Carmel O'Sullivan is a Ph.D. Candidate at Queensland University
Many thought, no doubt, that the horrors of the Second World War - the camps,
the cruelty, the extermination, the Holocaust - could never happen again ... .
Our time - this decade even - has shown us that man's capacity for evil knows
no limits. Genocide - the destruction of an entire people on the basis of
ethnic or national origins - is now a word of our times. It is also a heinous
reality that calls for a historic response.
- Kofi Annan 1
For centuries, women were regarded as the "spoils of war." Rape and
sexual violence against women were seen as inevitable consequences of armed
conflict and their occurrence was not effectively regulated or prevented.
However, the last few decades have witnessed huge advances in the field of
gender rights and the protection of women in war. The International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have successfully prosecuted sexual violence as war
crimes, crimes against humanity, methods of torture, and forms of enslavement
and persecution. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome
Statute) also recognises and prosecutes sexual violations. According to the
Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over four
categories of crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the
crime of aggression. 2 These crimes are separate and distinct from
one another because they each have different requisite elements for
establishing guilt, different purposes and different ...
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