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Women & Conflict (LAW-978-001)
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Crimes committed disproportionately or exclusively against women and girls in times of conflict have traditionally been largely ignored, or at most, treated as secondary to other crimes. However, in the past decade, and particularly since 1998, there has been an incredible transformation in the treatment of sexual and gender-based violence in the fields of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. This course aims to provide an overview and evaluation of the responses of international law to the experience of women in times of conflict and repression. The course will examine feminist critiques of IHL and consider the links between conflict and issues such as women’s inequality and inequitable economic and social conditions. Specifically, the course will explore how women in times of conflict are treated under the various categories of the laws of war, such as civilians, combatants, detainees and POWs, but also question whether these laws are sufficient to encompass the variety of ways women are affected by conflict. The course will also look at the developing jurisprudence dealing specifically with accountability for gendered violence from the ad hoc international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and the “hybrid” or internationalized courts, as well as the provisions specifically relating to women in the Rome Statute and the practice of the International Criminal Court in implementing these provisions. The course will end with a critical evaluation of the consequences, both intended and unintended, of the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence by these courts and tribunals and of feminist interventions in international law more generally. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic related to the issues discussed in class and to a lead a class discussion about their research.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
Included in the attached syllabus PDF.
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