The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

For queries and clarifications – please contact


Untangling Sex, Marriage, and Other Criminalities in Forced Marriage

Frances Nguyen



Over the past few decades, particularly with the rise of international criminal tribunals, there has been increased criminalization and greater awareness in gender and sex-based crimes among the international community. Crimes such as sexual slavery, enslavement, or rape have been successfully prosecuted under international law. Yet despite the increased recognition in the prohibition of sex and gender-based crimes, forced marriage remained marginalized until 2008, when the Special Court of Sierra Leone formally recognized forced marriage as an international crime. However, since the SCSL’s ruling, no other criminal tribunal to date has successfully enforced and prosecuted perpetrators for committing forced marriage. This is particularly troubling considering the widespread reports of forced marriage in other States, such as Uganda and Cambodia. Part of the challenge stems in the SCSL’s legal ruling which categorized forced marriage as an ‘other inhumane act’ under ‘crimes against humanity’. This categorization is puzzling considering forced marriage often entails acts of sexual violence and disproportionately affects young women and girls. In addition, forced marriage is frequently compared to sexual slavery and arranged marriage, which poses more challenges for courts to distinguish forced marriage as a unique crime. Thus, this contribution calls for the increased criminalization and awareness of forced marriage as a sex and gender-based crime that is on par with other similar prohibited acts, including sexual slavery, enslavement, rape, and forced pregnancy. Case studies will be examined, such as Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Cambodia. Sierra Leone is examined due to the SCSL’s seminal ruling on forced marriage. Cambodia is discussed because of the legal challenges presented before the Prosecutors at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, especially as they try to convict the accused of alleged acts committed over three decades ago. Lastly, Uganda is observed to analyze why despite widespread reports, the ICC is not prosecuting senior militia leaders of forced marriage. These three cases seek to illustrate the complexities and difficulties in prosecuting forced marriage and also to analyze the definition and legal nuances behind forced marriage. In doing so, a better understanding is developed and raises awareness as to why forced marriage must be on the forefront in international criminal law to prosecute and convict perpetrators who are committing an egregious crime.



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