UNWCC project-led legal discoveries endorsed by Justice Goldstone reinforce Summit efforts to end sexual violence in conflict

9 June 2014 Former prosecutor Richard Goldstone regrets he did not have access to the ‘treasure trove’ archive uncovered by SOAS for cases in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Latest research centred on a collection of newly accessible United Nation War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) archives brings legal and political support from World War II cases for today’s effort for prosecuting the perpetrators of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in conflict areas. A five-year research project led by SOAS, University of London on a collection of World War II archives, held in secret for sixty years, has been published in a new paper which questions the assumption today that rape was not prosecuted as a war crime until after the post-Yugoslavia wars of the 1990s. Greater access to the archives which documented thousands of cases against accused World War II criminals in Europe and Asia was the result of a campaign led by Dr Dan Plesch, Director of the SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) and Assistant Director of Shanti Sattler, last year. The findings, published in a paper in the Criminal Law Forum, the official journal of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal law, ‘The Relevance of the United National War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based crimes today’ co-authored by Dr Plesch, Susana SáCouto, Director of American University War Crimes Research...

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