ICC OTP’s Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

Pages from OTP-Policy-Paper-on-Sexual-and-Gender-Based-Crimes--June-2014Today, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mrs Fatou Bensouda published the OTP’s long-awaited Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes (Policy Paper).  The Policy Paper is based on the Draft Policy Paper which was published on 7 February 2014 and circulated for public comment. On 7 March 2014, Fatou Bensouda said that her office had received  an “overwhelming public response” to the draft Policy Paper from entities which included States, international institutions, civil society, academia and individuals and experts around the world.

According to today’s press release, the OTP Policy Paper has been finalised on the basis of that input and following a process of extensive consultations and the gathering of input from staff in the Office and  the Prosecutor’s Special Gender Advisor.

The OTP’s press release states that the Policy Paper is intended to guide the Office of the Prosecutor in its work in fighting against impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes, and promote transparency and clarity, as well as predictability in the application of the legal framework of the Rome Statute to such crimes.  In turn, the policy is stated to aim to contribute to ensuring not only the effective investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes, but also to enhancing access to justice for victims of these crimes, through the ICC.


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