About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

46 Cambrian L. Rev. 131 (2015-2016)
The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Initial Structural and Procedural Decisions on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

handle is hein.journals/camblr46 and id is 131 raw text is: 


                                Valerie Oosterveld*


The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)       an international criminal tribunal
established in 2002 and closed in 2013   leaves an important jurisprudential legacy
with respect to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), particularly on rape,
sexual slavery, and forced marriage. While one might expect this to be the case due to
the widespread and systematic nature of SGBV during the Sierra Leone conflict, the
other international courts at that time had not yet set a strong precedent for sustained
attention to SGBV Drawing upon interviews with individuals connected with the
SCSL at the beginning of its mandate, this article discusses early decisions taken at
the Court that appear to have had a profound impact on the prosecution of SGB V It
draws out two main lessons. First, this article describes how structural decisions were
made within the Office of the Prosecutor and Registry to create and solidify a
favourable environment for the investigation and prosecution of and outreach on,
SGBV Second, this article examines process-focused decisions taken to enhance the
SCSL's ability to address SGBV and to understand the context of SGBV within the
Sierra Leone conflict. This article concludes that both types of decisions contributed
to the SCSL 's legacy on SGBV


Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL); Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV);
international criminal law


The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was created as a response to the decade-
long armed conflict in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. It was established in January 2002
by agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone,1 and

* The author wishes to express deep thanks to Fanny Leveau for her assistance in conducting
background research and certain interviews referred to in this article, as well as contributing some
initial drafting and footnote editing. She also wishes to thank: Corinne Dufka, Wayne Jordash,
Maxine Marcus, and Louise Taylor for their comments; all of the interviewees for sharing their
experiences; UN Women for its support of this research project; and the participants in the
December 9, 2016, American Society of International Law International Criminal Law Interest
Group Works-in-Progress Workshop for their suggestions. However, any errors are the author's
'Agreement Between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone on the Establishment
of a Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002) (SCSL Agreement).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most