Women and Justice: Keywords

International Case Law

The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga International Criminal Court (2014)

Gender violence in conflict, Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

Mr. Katanga was the leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force (“PRF”) in Ituri, an opposition group in DRC, and was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to an attack against the village of Bogoro.  The Pre-Trial Chamber found that the PRF forces committed acts of rape and sexual slavery:  Mr. Katanga’s combatants abducted, sexually enslaved, and physically abused women.  Mr. Katanga was found guilty as an accessory to war crimes on four counts: i.e., murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property, and pillaging.  He was also found guilty as an accessory to murder constituting a crime against humanity.  However, he was acquitted on the charges of rape and sexual slavery committed by the PRF forces because the crimes could not be attributed to him; it could not be proved that the crimes were common practice among the combatants.  Despite Mr. Katanga’s acquittal, this case is particularly significant as it was the first case in which crimes of sexual violence, including rape and sexual slavery, were charged.