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ERC

GOJ Report Summary

Project ID: 313626
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - GOJ (THE GENDER OF JUSTICE: THE PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN ARMED CONFLICT)

Sexual violence is a widespread feature of contemporary conflicts. How do we provide justice for these crimes? The Gender of Justice project is a major new study of justice for conflict-related sexual violence. Working at the intersection of law, sociology, feminist and transitional justice scholarship, the research programme moves past the disparate disciplinary problems that have dominated the study of the prosecution of sexual violence in war. It does this by building an innovative and practical ‘gender justice’ research framework that engages with the thoroughly social nature of ‘gender justice’.

The multidisciplinary research team built this framework by undertaking a unique mixed method study of criminal and transitional justice for conflict-related sexual violence in the war in the former Yugoslavia. This includes the first aggregate and systematic study of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and domestic war crimes prosecutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). At the international level, the ICTY has led the prosecution of sexual violence crimes. At the national level, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the successor state ‘most affected’ by the widespread sexual violence in the war in the former Yugoslavia, as well as being the focus of international and national programmes to provide justice for crimes committed during the war. The case study research: (a) identified patterns of conflict-related sexual violence against men and women and the patterns of prosecution of these crimes in the ICTY and BiH State Court; (b) analysed existing conflict-related sexual violence policies and practices in these criminal justice systems; and (c) examined links between criminal and social justice for survivors and communities in this conflict context. This case study research developed a new action research model for engaging practitioners, judicial, international and civil society organisations in ongoing research, and for integrating research and practice.

The Gender of Justice research framework consists of three components. The first component is gender harm mapping, which identifies patterns of gender-based harms and maps them across the conflict. The second component is legal field figuration, which analyses patterns of prosecutions of these harms, and how gender shapes norms, institutions, and practices of criminal justice systems. The third component is relational justice review. This review compares patterns of gender-based harms in a given conflict to the recognition, redress, and remedy offered by formal and informal justice mechanism and processes, and examines whether these justice practices provide transformative gender justice. The Gender of Justice research framework offers an innovative new approach for undertaking gender justice research in other conflicts or contexts.

Reported by

GOLDSMITHS' COLLEGE
United Kingdom
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