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Gender Persecution and Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan: Seeking the Appropriate Legal Basis for International Accountability

From as early as 1980, Afghanistan signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a decisive step in protecting women’s rights to equality, notably in education. Additionally, since 1994, Afghanistan has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which explicitly includes rights such as education, privacy, and the right to life. Notably, Afghanistan is also a party to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR). After the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban launched their offensive, marking their return to power after being ousted in 2001. In August 2021, they seized control of the capital, leading to the collapse of  the government Since the Taliban takeover, the situation for women has rapidly deteriorated, with ongoing escalations. In August 2021, women were instructed to remain at home. By September 2021, they were prohibited from pursuing…

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From an Unconstitutional Rome Statute to Its Constitutionality: Why It Took Over 20 Years for Armenia to Join the ICC?

On November 14, 2023, the Republic of Armenia officially deposited the instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  While the Statute will come into force for Armenia on February 1, 2024, officially making it the 124th State Party to join, the process leading to Armenia's ICC membership commenced significantly earlier…

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The Operational Logic behind Designating States for the Enforcement of International Sentences: The Implications of the Ongwen Case

Dominic Ongwen, convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of 61 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed as a senior commander of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA) rebel group, was transferred on 18 December 2023 to an as yet undisclosed prison facility in the Kingdom of Norway to serve his 25-year sentence. After…

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Reproductive Violence in International Criminal Law and the ICC OTP’s Revised Policy on Gender-Based Crimes: An Emerging Concept

We are on the cusp of a new concept emerging in international criminal justice (ICJ): reproductive violence. While the broader concept of reproductive rights is well-known, and has a long and fraught history in domestic and international human rights law (for instance, Center for Reproductive Rights), the narrower concept of reproductive violence occurring in contexts…

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Absent Kony, Absent Justice? Notes on the ICC’s Decision to Potentially Confirm Charges Against Kony In Absentia

With the deaths of Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, and Okot Odhiambo and the conviction of Dominic Ongwen by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the only remaining leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) at large is its founder, Joseph Kony. Long-time followers of the ICC will remember its first-ever arrest warrants were issued…

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