All in The Justice System

By Jamie Attard, staff editor “War’s overlooked victims,” as reported by The Economist on January 15, 2011 focuses on one weapon of war that has often been used with impunity throughout history. The weapon is not a knife, arrow, or stick; it is rape. The article details not only how commonly rape is used in war, but also how hard it still is to measure, document, and prevent. But rape is not an inevitable aspect of war. International organizations and national governments must take steps to ensure prevention, punishment, and the improvement of social services. While the problem may seem intractable, there are a number of concrete steps that can be taken.

By Agustina Laurito, staff editor On Wednesday December 15 the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo announced that the ICC was issuing summons against six Kenyan citizens involved in the post election violence that engulfed the country during sixty days at the end of 2007 and the start of 2008. This is a bold new move for a prosecutor who has been accused of double standards against African countries, but it gains significance when put in the context of the events in Côte d’Ivoire, the many violent elections around the world, and Kenya´s future contest in 2012.

By Agustina Laurito, staff editor Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an opportunity to reflect on the efforts, accomplishments and obstacles toward ending violence against women. As part of those efforts, the international community and national governments have adopted legal standards against gender violence. Despite the different instruments, lack of adequate enforcement and implementation has often resulted in tragic failures to protect women from violence.

By Jamie Attard, staff editor The state secrets privilege allows the United States government to dismiss litigation cases on the grounds of national security. The premise behind such a power is that certain cases, if tried in a civilian court, would reveal sensitive information to the public that would jeopardize national security. Although this privilege is justified, the manner of its execution can too easily be abused.