Document Type


First Page



The inauguration of the International Criminal Court and the proliferation of criminal tribunals over the last twenty years are often presented as historic and progressive moments in the trajectory of international law’s response to victims of rape in armed conflicts. However, these moments may signal not only inclusion, but also repression. They signal not just progress, but also a renewed rhetorical and institutional legitimization of colonialism. Historicizing the advent of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court, this Article examines some ways that international law obfuscates its complicity in armed conflict rape, looking particularly at calls within the profession for greater efficiency, nation-state security, and reparations for victims. In doing so, this Article grapples with questions concerning the limits and alternatives to our current legal imagination towards rape in armed conflict.