Rape and Forced Pregnancy under the ICC Statute: Human Dignity, Autonomy, and Consent

Authored by: Kristen Boon

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: International Law, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Region: No Region
Year: 2001
Citation: Boon, Kristen. "Rape and Forced Pregnancy under the ICC Statute: Human Dignity, Autonomy, and Consent." Columbia Human Rights Law Review 32 (2001): 625-675.

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This Article examines the ICC provisions on rape and forced pregnancy in order to contextualize and explain their recent translation into international criminal law. It also explores the bargaining process and divisive debates that surrounded the proposals to include and subsequently define rape and forced pregnancy. Finally, this Article considers how the ICC Statute creates a new legal framework for sexual crimes derived from the notions of human dignity and agency. These themes are addressed by first considering the international criminalization of sexual violence in Part II, and the legal injuries which arise from sexual atrocities committed in armed conflict in Part III. Parts IV and V examine the elements of rape in the ICC Statute, focusing on the genesis of the ICC model and the problematic notion of consent. The newly articulated crime of forced pregnancy is discussed and clarified in Part VI, distinguishing it from rape and laying out its component elements. Part VII returns to the principles of human dignity, autonomy, and consent in order to examine the theoretical paradigm presented by the ICC and its implications for female sexual and reproductive autonomy in international criminal law.