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Fair Labelling and the Dilemma of Prosecuting Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Tribunals

by (author) Hilmi M. Zawati

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2014
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2014
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This scholarly legal work focuses on the dilemma of prosecuting gender-based crimes under the statutes of the international criminal tribunals with reference to the principle of fair labelling. In this book Hilmi M. Zawati explains how the abstractness and lack of accurate description of gender-based crimes in the statutory laws of the international criminal tribunals and courts infringe the principle of fair labelling, lead to inconsistent verdicts and punishments, and cause inadequate prosecution of these crimes. This inquiry deals with gender-based crimes as a case study, within the legal principle and theoretical framework of fair labelling.

Critical and timely, this study contributes to existing scholarship in many different ways. It is the first legal analysis to focus on the dilemma of prosecuting and punishing wartime gender-based crimes in the statutory laws of the international criminal tribunals and the ICC in the context of fair labelling. Moreover, it emphasizes that applying fair labelling to wartime gender-based crimes would enable the tribunals and the ICC to deliver fair judgments, eliminate inconsistent prosecution, overcome shortcomings in addressing gender-based crimes within their jurisprudence, while breaking the cycle of impunity for these crimes.

Consisting of two parts, this work begins by outlining the central focus and theoretical legal framework of the study. It concentrates on fair labelling as an imperative legal principle and a legal framework, and examines its intellectual development, scope and justification, illustrating its applicability to gender-based crimes. The second part addresses the dilemma of prosecuting gender-based crimes in the international criminal tribunals.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Hilmi M. Zawati is President of the International Legal Advocacy Forum (ILAF), an international criminal law jurist, and human rights advocate. Over the past three decades, and ever since the first reports of war crimes during the Yugoslav dissolution war of 1992-1995, Dr. Zawati has been a committed human rights activist, and has actively advocated human rights of wartime rape victims throughout the world. A prominent speaker and author on a number of hotly debated legal issues, Dr. Zawati has addressed major academic and professional groups in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the United States, and Canada. His present primary research and teaching areas are: public international law; international criminal law; international humanitarian and human rights law; international gender justice system; international environmental law of armed conflict; social diversity and the law; judicial mechanisms under universal jurisdiction; and Islamic law of nations (siyar). He is the author of several prize-winning books on international humanitarian and human rights law, including his most recent book: The Triumph of Ethnic Hatred and the Failure of International Political Will: Gendered Violence and Genocide in the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (2010).