Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

Sok v. Minister for Immigration and Citizenship High Court of Australia (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

Sok, a Cambodian citizen, married an Australian woman who acted as his visa sponsor. A permanent visa is conditioned on the determination that the visa applicant is the spouse of the sponsor and that the parties have a genuine relationship. A delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship declined to grant Sok a permanent visa because the delegate “was not satisfied that the appellant [Sok] was the spouse of the sponsor.” Sok applied for a review of the refusal, later alleging that he was the victim of domestic violence by his sponsor. The case raised two questions: (1) whether the review Tribunal must consider Sok’s claim of domestic violence even though the claim was not raised until the refusal of his application and (2) whether the Tribunal can “decide that it is not satisfied that the alleged victim . . . suffered relevant domestic violence” without a hearing. The High Court sided with the appellant, holding that the Tribunal must consider the claim. The Court further held that the Tribunal cannot make a determination regarding the claim of domestic violence without allowing the appellant an opportunity to be heard.

Prosecutor of Naan Province v. Kohn Rokprai (No. 16001/2553) Supreme Court of Thailand (2010)

Sexual violence and rape

The plaintiff claimed that on the night the crime took place, the victim went to sleep around 9PM in the same bug screen as the victim’s father, the victim’s mother and her sister. Around midnight, the victim felt someone had pressed her down, undressed her pants and forced an object into her genitalia. The victim tried to push the perpetrator away. The victim felt that the person on top of her was a male, but felt too scared to open her eyes. She was perpetrated for approximately twenty minutes. The issue in this case was whether or not the defendant’s action was rape. The Supreme Court held that the circumstances of the case showed that the victim did not give consent. She tried to resist, but failed. Because the defendant was the only male in the bug screen, the victim might have suspected the defendant to be the perpetrator and felt too scared to resist or let others know. The Supreme Court held that the defendant forced his genitalia into the victim’s genitalia without consent, and that such action of the defendant constituted rape, as prescribed by section 276 paragraph 1 of Criminal Code.

Kanitchon Anansirisub v. Caster Peak Holdings, Co. Ltd. (Public) and party defendants (No. 8379/2550) Supreme Court of Thailand (2007)

Sexual harassment

The plaintiff was an employee of the defendant, under the subordination of the second defendant. In September 1995, the second defendant and the plaintiff started a sexual relationship which the plaintiff could not avoid. Later, the second defendant engaged the plaintiff in other sexual activities on several occasions, which if the plaintiff refused, the plaintiff might face consequences at work. The plaintiff resigned from her job position on June 7, 2001. The plaintiff asked the Court to grant her the right to damages paid by the defendants from the sexual harassment action, which made it impossible for her to stay in the job position, which was a violation of section 16 of the Labor Protection Act, B.E. 2541. The Supreme Court held that if the second defendant’s action was a sexual harassment, not only was the action a breach of tort duty, it was also a breach of the employment contract as well. The plaintiff therefore had the right to both the remedy for the torts claim and damages from the breach of contract claim.

Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association v. The Cabinet Division Bangladesh Supreme Court (2011)

Gender-based violence in general, Harmful traditional practices, Sexual harassment, Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

In an application under Article 102 of the Constitution, the Bangladesh National Women's Lawyers Association (BNWLA) petitioned the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division) to address the exploitation and abuse endured by child domestic laborers in Bangladesh. The BNWLA argued that child domestic workers are subjected to economic exploitation, physical and emotional abuse, and the deprival of an education in violation of their fundamental constitutional rights. In support of these arguments, it presented multiple reports of extreme abuse suffered by child domestic workers. In deciding this case, the Court reviewed the current laws in Bangladesh, including the Labour Act, 2006, which fails to extend labor protections to "domestic workers," including children, and lacks an effective implementation and enforcement system. The Court directed the government of Bangladesh to take immediate steps to increase its protection of the fundamental rights of child domestic workers including prohibiting children under the age of twelve from working in any capacity including domestic settings; supporting the education of adolescents; implementing the National Elimination of Child Labour Policy 2010 and applying the Labour Act, 2006 to domestic workers. Additionally, the Court directed the government to monitor and prosecute incidents of violence against child domestic workers, maintain a registry of domestic workers and their whereabouts to combat trafficking, promulgate mandatory health check-ups and strengthen the legal framework relating to child domestic workers.


Avon Global Center 2012 Women and Justice Conference Report (2013)

Statutory rape or defilement, Sexual violence and rape, Gender-based violence in general

In December 2012, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice hosted its annual conference. The topic for 2012 was addressing sexual violence against girls in Southern Africa.

Avon Global Center 2010 Women and Justice Conference Report (2011)

Femicide, Gender violence in conflict, Gender-based violence in general

In 2010, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice held a conference in Washington, DC to discuss advances and obstacles to securing justice for women and girls in conflict and post-conflict areas.

Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Thematic Report (2010)

Gender-based violence in general

Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences submitted a thematic report on reparations to women subjected to violence in conflict and post-conflict. April 19, 2010.


Domestic Violence in Turkey (2011)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

This memorandum provides a brief overview of violence against women in Turkey and, in doing so, highlights select reports and news stories, and references key legal obligations and case law touching on this problem.

Gender Based Violence in Africa (2011)

Gender-based violence in general

This memorandum provides a brief overview of the issue of gender based violence in Sub-Saharan Africa with relevant statistics.


2010 Symposium Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas (2011)

Sexual violence and rape, Gender violence in conflict

Cornell International Law Journal Special Conference Issue. 44 CORNELL INT'L L.J. 1 (2011).

Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas (2011)

Sexual violence and rape, Gender violence in conflict

By Rashida Manjoo and Calleigh McRaith. 44 CORNELL INT'L L.J. 1 (2011). Copyright 2011 by the Cornell International Law Journal.