Evolution of Gender Crimes

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Fall 2014 Seminar
Meets: M, W 7:00pm - 9:00pm in WCC Room 4059
2 classroom credits

This seminar in international law traces the development of what are now called "gender crimes," meaning sexual or gender-based crimes of violence including rape, sexual slavery, and akin atrocities.

Materials explore conceptual origins in civil and human rights law, factual roots in international humanitarian law and criminal law, de facto recognition in regional human rights systems and international ad hoc tribunals (ICTY, ICTR, SCSL), and their apex form to date in the Rome Statute (2000) of the International Criminal Court (ICC), where they are entrenched as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

The first half of the seminar investigates theory and historical settings, including the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials of post-World War II. The second half focuses on issues and breaking developments in contemporary cases.

Special attention will be paid to the evolution of the concept of gender in this body of law: how it is obscured or mainstreamed or exposed, what difference it makes to include it within rubrics such as torture or slavery versus separately, and how confronting gendered realities in law affects and is affected by various technical areas such as charging and witness preparation.

This seminar is taught by Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon (first Special Gender Advisor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 2008-2012).

Note: This seminar meets on the following dates: September 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, October 1, 6, 8, 20, and 22.

Catharine Mackinnon will not be teaching at HLS in Fall 2015.

Subject Areas: Criminal Law & Procedure , Family, Gender & Children's Law , International, Comparative & Foreign Law .