Friday, May 10, 2013

The Expressive Necessity of Gender-Based Violence Prosecutions

By Allison Wells Zuckerman
Allison Wells Zuckerman, a 2010 graduate of Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, is a practicing member of the Pennsylvania bar. A former policy researcher and United Nations intern, she developed an interest in international gender issues while researching the mail order bride industry for a high school history class.
Ms. Zuckerman continues to work on women’s issues through the American Bar Association’s International Model Project on Women’s Rights and ongoing research on gender violence as a tool of war.  She currently resides with her husband in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Despite the recent prominence of the Rome Statute’s stance against gender-based violence (“GBV”), many view international anti-GBV prosecutorial powers as ineffective and unenforceable. While acknowledging such pitfalls, this note opts to focus on the broad expressive value of landmark anti-GBV measures.

Although their case-by-case tangible benefits may be unclear, anti-GBV prosecutions are an expressive necessity for several important reasons. They (1) support the further development of international criminal law; (2) represent and reiterate broad support for the international shift in views on sexual violence; and (3) help solidify new public norms regarding GBV as a reprehensible tool of war.

In discussing the history of anti-GBV measures, as well as the expressive value of new GBV prosecution, this note concludes that GBV prosecutions are an imperative to reinforcing new international legal norms and making permanent progress in the global social conscious. 
To read the paper, open HERE.