State Department Awards $485,000 to the War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program to Strengthen Victims’ Access to Justice in Bosnia
Thousands of Victims of Sexual and Gender Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Benefit from Expansion of Gender Jurisprudence Collections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2013 – The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues of the U.S. Department of State has awarded American University Washington College of Law's War Crimes Research Office and Women and International Law Program $485,000 dollars to strengthen access to justice for victims of conflict-based sexual and gender violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The project will create and maintain research tools to assist Bosnian justice system actors to successfully prosecute sexual and gender-based crimes that occurred during the region’s armed conflict.
One existing tool is American University Washington College of Law’s "Gender Jurisprudence Collections," a unique online database containing all of the documents related to the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence from 12 criminal tribunals with jurisdiction to try serious international crimes. Digests of key documents highlighting the facts, allegations, and procedural contexts affecting the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence are available on genderjurisprudence.org. Justice system actors around the world use these tools, as well as the website’s blog, to engage with developments in this complex and rapidly emerging area of law.
To meet the specific needs of justice system actors in Bosnia, the project will expand the database to include documents from the European Court of Human Rights, and will make expert digests of key cases decided by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia available in Bosnian. In-country partners collect cases that address sexual or gender-based violence as they are decided in Bosnian courts, and make them available online to other Bosnian justice system actors, and worldwide. This communication will facilitate the development of best practices or identification of practices or procedures to be avoided in the prosecution of these crimes within the Bosnian context. Finally, American University Washington College of Law faculty and students will work with justice system actors in Bosnia to provide training on the use of these tools, as well as specialized legal research assistance on the application of international law. Topical digests, digests of documents, training materials, a webinar, and website will all be either produced in or translated into Bosnian to ensure that local justice system actors and victims can engage with substantive and procedural developments in the prosecution of these crimes.
To learn more about the project, visit www.genderjurisprudence.org.
The Gender Jurisprudence and International Criminal Law Project is a collaborative project between the War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program at American University Washington College of Law. Launched with support from the Open Society Institute’s International Women’s Program, the project promotes research and debate about the jurisprudence emerging from international and hybrid tribunals regarding sexual and gender-based violence committed during times of conflict, mass violence, or repression. It creates tools to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of these crimes at both a domestic and international level. The Gender Jurisprudence Collection, which houses thousands of documents related to the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes, is available free of charge to the public at genderjurisprudence.org.
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 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.