Internal and international conflicts can often involve a level of impunity that allows sexual violence to persist unchecked by military and political leaders. The recent reversal by an appeals panel at the International Criminal Court of a pretrial decision not to charge President al-Bashir of Sudan with genocide in Darfur offers an important foundation for introducing new types of evidence that can increase the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence during conflicts. The reversal cited the incorrect use of the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard when the lesser standard of "reasonable grounds" applied. Social science provides methods and measures that can be uniquely used to develop reasonable grounds evidence, for example, to demonstrate the roles of physical perpetrators acting together in horizontal relationships, as well as to establish the indirect participation through vertical relationships of higher-level defendants, in a chain of command of superior responsibility. We illustrate these points by presenting social science evidence of the responsibility of President al-Bashir and middle- and lower-level figures in genocidal violence in Darfur.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)