War Crimes Research Office and Women and International Law Program Announce Launch of Gender Jurisprudence Collections

Online Tool Considered a Helpful Resource for Judges, Laywers, and Researchers


WASHINGTON, September 9, 2011 – American University Washington College of Law's War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program announce the launch of the Gender Jurisprudence Collections (GJC).

The GJC is an online research tool that allows judges, lawyers, and researchers to search the jurisprudence of eleven internationalized criminal courts and tribunals for documents containing information regarding the prosecution of crimes involving sexual and gender-based violence.

Reviewers have analyzed and catalogued more than 17,000 documents from the War Crimes Research Office’s Jurisprudence Collections, noting, for example, when evidence of sexual or gender-based violence appears in the record, when sexual or gender-based violence charges are brought, dropped, or dismissed, or when a defendant is tried for a crime of sexual or gender-based violence. The GJC features keyword and targeted search fields, which eliminate the need to sift through irrelevant documents when conducting research on the rapidly developing jurisprudence in these bodies.

The law school, with support from the Open Society Institute’s International Women’s Program, created this database in response to requests by experts in the fields of gender and international criminal law. These experts found that researching the treatment of sexual and gender-based violence by the international tribunals which have emerged since the 1990s was difficult due to the absence of a central database of materials related to the investigation and prosecution of such cases.

Judge Patricia Whalen of the War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has called the creation of the GJC “a great accomplishment,” while former Legal Advisor on Gender Issues at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Patricia Viseur Sellers has noted that the GJC promises to be “a fabulous tool” that she “can’t wait to use and see used by others.”

In the future, the GJC will feature digests of key documents, which will highlight the facts, allegations, and other factors affecting the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence. The project website will also feature space for expert commentaries and discussion.

To access the GJC and learn more about the project, please visit http://wcl.american.edu/go/gicl.  Questions, comments, or suggestions can be directed to Alison Plenge, WCRO Jurisprudence Collections Coordinator.


American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school’s nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit wcl.american.edu.