South African Constitution

Working with Brigitte Mabandla, the first woman representative of the African National Congress in the Constitution drafting process, students researched international and U.S. law and feminist theory to help develop a gender critique of and proposals for the draft South African Constitution.

U.N. Conferences

From l992-l995, IWHR worked as part of the Women's Caucuses that shaped the groundbreaking final documents for the UN Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, l993), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)(Cairo, l994) and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, l995). Students helped to research, draft and edit language to embed women's concerns and perspectives in the final conference documents.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

IWHR played a major role in bringing about the recognition of rape as torture, a grave war crime and a crime against humanity by the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and to integrate a gender perspective into its procedures. Working with the Center for Constitutional Rights, students helped prepare survivor-oriented evidentiary and procedural rules on sexual assaults, which were adopted by the tribunal. Through amicus curiae briefs and training and consultation to the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor, IWHR contributed to that Court's early recognition of rape as torture as well as the enforcement of procedural and evidentiary protections against harassment of victims and witnesses to sexual violence.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

As legal advisor to the Coalition on Women's Human Rights in Conflict, IWHR helped monitor the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)'s treatment of crimes against women and facilitate the involvement of Rwandese women in the tribunal's work. In spring l997, IWHR's amicus curiae brief successfully urged the Prosecutor to include sexual violence charges as genocide and crimes against humanity in in the Akayesu indictment. Akayesu resulted in a landmark judgment recognizing rape as an act of genocide when committed with the requisite intent. IWHR also prepared a human rights report on the failure of the ICTR to provide effective witness protection.

Rome Statute

To ensure that a gender perspective was reflected in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court, IWHR worked to create the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice and served as the Caucus's Legal Secretariat. During the drafting and negotiation of the Rome Statute and the Annexes containing the Elements of Crimes and Rules of Procedure and Evidence, IWHR actively participated in Prep Comms, coordinating draft positions on substantive law, court structures, procedural mechanisms, evidentiary protections, and the powers of the ICC. While the Caucus did not succeed entirely, it transformed the Rome Statute and the Annexes from a gender perspective, codifying a significant series of gender crimes and structures necessary to make the Court capable of doing gender justice.

Women's Link Work in Argentina

Argentina is one of the few countries in the world, which is currently prosecuting crimes against humanity in their own national judicial system. In collaboration with Women's Link Worldwide, Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) and the Human Rights Unit of the Prosecutor's Office, students worked to help ensure that gender based crimes were included in the trials prosecuting those responsible for violations of human rights during the dictatorship (1978-1983) in Argentina.

IWHR clinic students with members of the Women Workers' Committee of Bárcenas. Photo courtesy of Bradley Parker.