Legal Responses

This page is under construction, please pardon our appearance as we build the resource




Click on the name of the court to see more detailed information on its mandate, its cases involving systematic sexual violence and its policies relating to victim participation and protection.

International Court: International Criminal Court (ICC):

The ICC tries the persons accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; these crimes include systematic sexual violence.
The Situations Currently Under Investigation: To date, three States Parties to the Rome Statute – Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) and the Central African Republic (CAR) – have referred situations occurring on their territories to the Court. In addition, the Security Council has referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan – a nonā€State Party.  The Security Council recently (Feb 2011) decided unanimously to refer the situation in Libya to the ICC Prosecutor for investigation. In 2009, the Prosecutor requested to open an investigation and issue arrest warrants in the Republic of Kenya and that request has been approved by Pre-Trial Chamber II. After a thorough analysis of available information, the Prosecutor has opened and is conducting investigations in all of the above-mentioned situations.  

International Court: International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

Situated in The Hague, the Netherlands, the ICTY has charged over 160 persons.
Established as an ad hoc court, the Tribunal is currently working at full capacity but is working towards the completion of its mandate. The ICTY aims to achieve this by concentrating on the prosecution and trial of the most senior leaders, while referring a certain number of cases involving intermediate and lower-ranking accused to national courts in the former Yugoslavia.

International Court: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was established for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. It may also deal with the prosecution of Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations of international law committed in the territory of neighboring States during the same period. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is governed by its Statute, which is annexed to Security Council Resolution 955. This court is located in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.


International Court: Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.

Thirteen indictments were issued by the Prosecutor in 2003. Two of those indictments were subsequently withdrawn in December 2003 due to the deaths of the accused. The trials of three former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), of two members of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) and of three former leaders of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) have been completed, including appeals. The trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is in the Defence phase at The Hague.

National Court: Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a domestic court of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina which includes international judges and prosecutors. It was established on 3 July 2002 by the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Law on the Court of BiH and promulgated on 12 November 2000 by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is based in Sarajevo was necessary to provide for judicial protection in the matters that under the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina fall under the jurisdiction of the Court, such as fight against terrorism, war crimes, human trafficking, organized and economic crimes.

National Court: Court of Conscience against Sexual Violence in Guatemala

The Court of Conscience On Sexual Violence against Women during the Internal Armed Conflict is a political act whereby women who survived sexual violence during the internal armed conflict break the silence and tell their stories (as yet unknown), to ensure that this never happens again. Similarly, it offers an opportunity for the expression of expert opinions through which more can be learned about the causes, effects and proposed approaches on the issue of sexual violence in the context of internal armed conflict.

National Court: Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, commonly known as the "Khmer Rouge Tribunal" ', is a national court established pursuant to an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for serious violations of Cambodian penal law, international humanitarian law and custom, and violation of international conventions recognized by Cambodia, committed during the period between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979. This includes crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

National Court: Special Court of Liberia

The Liberian government has created in 2008 a special court to deal with not only rising rape cases, but also other forms of violence against women.

Mobile Court: Mobile Gender Justice Court (DRC)

The Open Society Justice Initiative and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa partnered with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative to establish a mobile court program focused on gender crimes. Since 2009, this effort has helped bring the rule of law to remote communities and serve some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Mobile courts already exist in the DRC to address a variety of crimes, but what distinguishes this court is that it specializes in gender issues.
In 2010, nine mobile gender courts were held by Congolese officials, hearing 186 cases. Of these, 115 were for rape cases and 95 resulted in convictions (plus another 42 convictions for non-sex cases). The prison sentences ranged from 3 to 20 years.