Home Institution

University of Colorado

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gend


This study investigates if the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) successfully creates a culture of accountability through its prosecution of gender crime. It first frames the concepts of sexual violence in war as well as accountability theoretically, and describes the historical context of the war in the former Yugoslavia. The ideas of ethnic identity, gender roles, and rape as a war crime are placed against a historical and cultural background. Next, it uses twelve Statements of Guilt issued by the ICTY as a means to discuss the definition and creation of a culture of accountability within the courts. The areas of self-identification, confession of criminality, expression of remorse, recognition of victims, and establishment of fact are defined as necessary to creating accountability and analyzed within these statements. The recurring theme of loss of control is then discussed as a possible contradiction to a culture of accountability. Four interviews with people involved with the ICTY are then used to clarify and question themes which appear in the Statements of Guilt. They discuss the issues of cross-disciplinary communication surrounding the ICTY, the flexibility of accountability, the importance of prosecution, and the benefits and challenges of the ICTY in the past and future. The conclusions of this paper revolve around the need for an open discussion of terms like accountability and gender crime in a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary setting, and suggest further research into these areas as well.


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance


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