The investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes (SGBC) under the International Criminal Court (ICC) and protective measures for SGBC victims / witnesses
Abstract: This dissertation explores the legal framework of the protective measures for the victims/witnesses of sexual and gender-based crimes within International Criminal Court. One of the themes of the dissertation is to examine both the legally binding legislation (ICC Statute, ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence) and legally non-binding regulations/policies (ICC Policy Paper on sexual and gender-based crimes, ICC OTP Strategic Plan 2012-2015) during the investigation and prosecution stages of sexual and gender-based crimes from the gender perspectives.
The primary purpose of the dissertation is to critically assess the existing ICC Policy Paper on sexual and gender-based crimes with a reference to ICTY Manual on Developed Practices through the gender lens and elaborate on the wider socio-cultural context of gender bias and discrimination in the criminal process of investigating/prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes.
Gender sensitivity issue in the duties of ICC investigators and prosecutors is also detailed in this paper as a crucial element to ensure that evidence collection process helps but not harms the victim/witness of sexual violence.
Another key argument in the thesis will be the analysis of the delicate balance between the protective measures for victims/witnesses of sexual and gender-based violence and the right to a fair trial of the accused both in policy and practice on the basis of ICC Prosecutor v. Lubanga case. The paper will critically examine the risk of re-traumatisation of the victims of sexual crimes, credibility of the evidence in the context of the application of procedural protection measures (such as closed sessions and anonymous testimonies) versus due process and the right of the accused to public hearing.