In this episode, I speak with Catherine O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and International Law, and Gender Research Coordinator at the Transitional Justice Institute, at Ulster University School of Law, Northern Ireland. We discuss her very recent book, The Rights of Women in Armed Conflict Under International Law, which examines the manner in which four specific regimes — IHL, international criminal law, human rights law, and the UN Security Council — have interacted in relation to the rights of women in armed conflict, not only in theoretical and doctrinal terms, but also in very practical terms on the ground in the armed conflicts in Colombia, Nepal, and the DRC. There are some surprises in terms of which regimes are strongest, and which institutions most effective, in protecting women’s rights. We discuss both the synergies and the conflicts among the different regimes, assessing how the various regimes fall short in protecting women’s rights, and ultimately, whether the multiplicity of regimes and fragmentation of law is, on balance, a benefit or an obstacle to the protection of women’s rights in armed conflict. Another fascinating discussion that will likely leave listeners clamoring for the book!
– “‘Geneva Convention III Commentary’ What Significance for Women’s Rights?” Just Security, Oct. 21, 2020.
– Gina Heathcote, Feminist Dialogues on International Law (2019).
– Judith Gardam, “Feminist Interventions into International Law: A Generation On,” 40 Adelaide Law Review 219 (2019).
– Judith Gardam and Michelle Jarvis, Women, Armed Conflict and International Law, (2001).