Oosterveld 2012 Gender

Title Information

Author: Valerie Oosterveld

Title: Gender and the Charles Taylor Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Subtitle: -

Journal: William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Year: 2012

Pages: 7-33

ISSN: 1081-549X – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1942-6763 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Sierra Leonean History | Cases: Others / Charles Taylor Case; Prosecution: Trials / Special Court for Sierra Leone; Types: Wartime Rape / Sierra Leone Civil War

Full Text

Link: William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository (Free Access)

Additional Information

Author: Valerie Oosterveld, Faculty of Law, Western University

Abstract: »In a landmark trial judgment on April 26, 2012, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) convicted Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, of aiding and abetting and planning crimes against humanity and war crimes during the armed conflict in Sierra Leone. Analysis of Taylor’s prosecution has tended to focus on issues such as his indictment while a Head of State and his link to ‘blood’ diamonds. Less attention has been paid, however, to gender issues arising in Taylor’s case. This article begins by exploring the gender-related charges against Taylor: the crimes against humanity of rape and sexual slavery, the war crime of outrages upon personal dignity, and the war crime of committing acts of terror (including through sexual violence). Next, the article explores how the Court viewed the issue of cumulative charges, especially with respect to rape and sexual slavery. Third, this article discusses the modes of liability used to find Taylor guilty and their link to the gender-related crimes. Finally, this article concludes with a positive evaluation of what the Taylor trial judgment has added to international criminal law’s understanding of gender-based crimes. For example, the judgment has shed light on the different ways in which sexual and gender-based crimes are used in armed conflict to assert power and control. It has also assisted in solidifying the international legal definition of sexual slavery. It raised important questions about whether forced marriage should instead be called ‘conjugal slavery’, and it clarified that an individual may be subject to convictions for the crimes against humanity of rape and sexual slavery or the war crimes of committing acts of terror and sexual violence.« (Source: Social Science Research Network)


  Introduction (p. 7)
  I. Gender-Based Crimes in the Taylor Judgment (p. 9)
    A. Rape (p. 10)
    B. Sexual Slavery, Forced Marriage, and Conjugal Slavery (p. 15)
    C. Outrages Upon Personal Dignity (p. 24)
    D. Committing Acts of Terror (p. 25)
  II. Cumulative Charges (p. 28)
  III. The Link Between Gender-Based Crimes and Taylor's Liability (p. 30)
  Conclusions (p. 32)

Wikipedia: Wartime sexual violence: Charles Taylor (Liberian politician), Sierra Leone Civil War, Special Court for Sierra Leone

Added: August 30, 2014 – Last updated: August 30, 2014