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Sexual Violence as an Afterthought: Securing Justice for Sexual Violence Victims in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

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posted on 2021-11-13, 10:12 authored by Hoy, Kellie-Sue

Using Nancy Fraser’s (2007a) tripartite model of justice as a theoretical backdrop, this thesis critically evaluates the United Nation’s (UN) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in relation to how this Tribunal has both secured and limited opportunities to ’do’ justice for sexual violence (SV) victims. This thesis applies a gendered approach to Fraser’s model, and considers how justice has been secured by women, based on principles of recognition, redistribution and representation. Using documentary methods, the thesis analyses ICTR cases concerning SV, to determine how this Tribunal has responded to SV committed against women and girls throughout the Rwandan genocide. This thesis demonstrates that, while the Tribunal has secured some level of justice for SV victims by successfully indicting, prosecuting and punishing some individuals responsible for SV, these crimes have been constructed and responded to in ad hoc and skewed ways. The analysis shows that crimes of SV, as well as its victims, are underrepresented in the ICTR. It also demonstrates that where SV has been addressed, the institutional culture and framework of this Tribunal has marginalised the voice of women, and allowed for discriminatory and insensitive court practices to permeate judicial proceedings. SV victims, who continue to struggle with redistributive injustices, have been negatively impacted by these ICTR practices


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies


Stanley, Elizabeth