|Study location||Netherlands, Maastricht (Online)|
|Type||Maastricht Online Campus, full-time|
|Nominal duration||23 - 27 November (1 week) (3 ECTS)|
|Tuition fee||€449 per programme
Reduced application fee for the 2021 edition of Maastricht Online Campus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Enrolled as an Undergraduate student or Undergraduate diploma
Applicants must be BA or MA students (from any discipline) who have, at a minimum, a profound interest in the phenomena of sexual violence in conflict and have proficient knowledge of English. Further, applicants are expected to participate actively throughout the course.
The entry qualification documents are accepted in the following languages: English / Dutch.
Often you can get a suitable transcript from your school. If this is not the case, you will need official translations along with verified copies of the original.
Please attach proof of English proficiency or clearly state in your motivation letter any previous English experience through education, upbringing or jobs. We pride ourselves on our interactive courses and we therefore want to ensure all students can participate to the full extent.
This course deals with the achievements and challenges in the field of preventing, investigating and prosecuting conflict-related sexual violence. Topics that will be covered in this course will include the emergence of international concern regarding conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) and the scope, nature and consequences of these crimes It will furthermore include the legal framework under international criminal law and procedure (in particular the ICTY, ICTR and ICC) and national law (in particular the gacaca courts) to address CRSV, including the prosecution of sexual violence before these and other international accountability mechanisms, the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence under the framework of the ICC and challenges to successful outcomes in sexual violence cases. Also the unique requirements and tools for investigating sexual violence, including victim interviewing skills and the use of evidence will be discussed. Furthermore, placing sexual violence in the context of command responsibility, victims’ rights and needs, and ways to prevent CRSV are topics that will be dealt with. The module will also focus on social and legal biases in dealing with sexual violence, including the psychology of sexual violence crimes and gendered notions in the law and society. The course is aims to take stock of where we are today when it comes to preventing and addressing CRSV and what would need to be the way forward.
Course Duration and Dates
This is a one week course running from the 23rd of November until the 27th of November, 2020 which will be taught entirely online. The courses will be scheduled in Central European Time [CET] so it is possible that some time slots are not ideal for people in certain time zones. However, when scheduling the courses, we will try to take into account the different time zones as much as we can.
The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 3 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions
By the end of the course, it is expected that students will:
1. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the different crimes of sexual violence in conflict situations.
2. Understand and critically assess the particular challenges involved with investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict.
3. Interpret the legal framework under conflict-related sexual violence may be prosecuted under international criminal and procedural law.
4. Identify, analyse and critically assess the particular investigation tools used to obtain evidence of this species of crime and understand specific victim interviewing skills.
5. Acquire specific knowledge necessary to identify the occurrence of these crimes which is problematic due to a host of various physical and psychological challenges, the prevailing social and legal biases, limited domestic investigations and the lack of available evidence.
6. Identify, analyse and critically assess the rights and needs of victims of CRSV.
7. Identify, analyse and critically assess the prevention of CRSV.
This course will be taught by Dr. Anne-Marie de Brouwer of IMPACT: Center against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict’. For more background information of the lecturers, see: www.impact-now.org/who-we-are/team/
Recommended literature (a selection)
- Michelle Jarvis and Elena Martin Salgaldo, ‘Future Challenges to Prosecuting Sexual Violence Under International Law: Insights from ICTY Practice’, in: De Brouwer et al. (2013), pp. 115-140.
- Linda Bianchi, ‘The Prosecution of Rape and Sexual Violence: Lessons from Prosecutions at the ICTR’, in: De Brouwer et al. (2013), pp. 141-172.
- Maxine Marcus, ‘Investigation of Crimes of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Under International Criminal Law’, in: De Brouwer et al. (2013), pp. 243-282.
- Dara Kay Cohen, Amelia Hoover Green and Elisabeth Jean Wood, Wartime Sexual Violence: Misconceptions, Implications, and Ways Forward, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report, 2013 (16 pp). Available at:
- UN Secretary General, Report of the Secretary General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, 3 June 2020, UN Doc S/2020/487. Available at: www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2019-REPORT-OF-THE-SECRETARY-GENERAL-ON-CRSV-ENGLISH.pdf
- Patricia Viseur Sellers, ‘Wartime Female Slavery: Enslavement?’, 44 Cornell International Law Journal (2011), 115-143.
- The ICC’s Rome Statute, Elements of Crimes, Rules of Procedure and Evidence, see: www.icc-cpi.int/resource-library#legal-texts
- ICC, Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes, 2014 (44 pp). Available at: www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/otp-Policy-Paper-on-Sexual-and-Gender-Based- Crimes—June-2014.pdf
- Anne-Marie de Brouwer, The Importance of Understanding Sexual Violence in Conflict for Investigating and Prosecution Purposes, 48(3) Cornell International Law Journal (2015), 639-666. Available at:
- Usta Kaitesi and Roelof Haveman, ‘Prosecution of Genocidal Rape and Sexual Torture before the Gacaca Tribunals in Rwanda’, in: Rianne Letschert et al., Victimological Approaches to International Crimes: Africa, Supranational Criminal Law Series, Cambridge/Antwerp/Portland: Intersentia, 2011, pp. 385-409 (to be distributed).
▪ Work in subgroups
▪ Final paper
Please contact Maastricht Summer School if you have any questions about this deadline.