International Sex Crimes: Understanding, Proving, Prosecutorial Thematization

Seminar to launch two books
London, 25 April 2012

The FICHL has completed a joint research project with Yale University and the University of Cape Town on ‘International Sex Crimes: Understanding, Proving, Prosecutorial Thematization’. The project has involved two international expert seminars in New Haven (15-16 October 2010) and Cape Town (7-8 March 2011); the Policy Brief ‘International Sex Crimes as a Criminal Justice Theme’ in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish; and finally the preparation of two anthologies: ‘Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes’ (894 pages) edited by Morten Bergsmo, Alf Butenschøn Skre and Elisabeth J. Wood, and ‘Thematic Prosecution of International Sex Crimes’ (452 pages) edited by Morten Bergsmo. They contain forewords by Richard J. Goldstone and Judge Fausto Pocar and a total of 30 chapters from authors such as Xabier Agirre, Kai Ambos, Olympia Bekou, David Cohen, Fabricio Guariglia, Margaret M. deGuzman, Elizabeth L. Hillman, Neha Jain, Sangkul Kim, Petra Kneuer, Christopher Mahony, Benson Chinedu Olugbuo, Valerie Oosterveld, Inger Skjelsbæk, Patricia L. Wildermuth, William H. Wiley, and Elisabeth J. Wood.

These two anthologies were first presented at a seminar at Georgetown University’s Center for Transnational Legal Studies in Holborn, the legal centre of London, on 25 April 2012. Among the speakers at the seminar were H.E. Judge Fausto Pocar (former ICTY President), Mr. Olav Myklebust (Deputy Ambassador, Norway), Associate Professor Olympia Bekou (University of Nottingham), Assistant Professor CHEAH Wui Ling (National University of Singapore), and Ms. Magali Maystre (Legal Officer, ICTY and ICTR Appeals Chamber).

The books and the seminar were well-received by the close to 50 persons in attendance, including scholars, practitioners, civil society actors, and students of different disciplinary backgrounds, from a diverse selection of academic and professional institutions within the United Kingdom. During the seminar’s question and answer session, participants intervened to emphasise the importance of the issues addressed in these books. A number drew attention to how the books may serve as a foundation for future research. Registered participants received a complimentary copy of each of the two books at the seminar.

On 26 April 2012, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mrs. Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, hosted a dinner in her residence in The Hague for 20 ambassadors, international judges and others on the occasion of the completion of the research project. Among the guests were the ambassadors of Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, and South Africa, as well as ICC President Sang-Hyun SONG, ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia, Eurojust President Michèle Coninsx, Judges Hans-Peter Kaul (ICC), LIU Daqun (ICTY and ICTR) and Fausto Pocar (ICTY and ICTR), Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko (Head JCCD, ICC Office of the Prosecutor), and CMN officials Mark Harmon, Magali Maystre and Ilia Utmelidze. In his remarks, Judge Kaul referred to the publication programme of the Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher as “a very affordable, very democratic and unique instrument to disseminate expertise and knowledge all over the world”.