The Collective Responsibility of Organised Armed Groups for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence during a Non-International Armed Conflict
Authors: Martha M Bradley & Aniel de Beer
Affiliations: LLB, LLM, LLD (UP), LLM (UCT), Lecturer, Department of Public Law, University of Pretoria. External Expert: Department of International and European Law, Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic; BProc, MBA, LLM, LLD (UP), LLB (Stell), extraordinary lecturer, Department of Public Law, University of Pretoria. External Expert: Department of International and European Law, Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 32 Issue 1, 2021, p. 129 – 154
This contribution considers a possible legal framework for holding organised armed groups (“OAGs”) collectively responsible for acts of sexual and gender-based violence (“SGBV”) during non-international armed conflicts. It argues that a framework providing for collective as opposed to individual criminal responsibility of OAGs is essential. Certain sections of the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (“Articles on State Responsibility” or “ASR”) are used as a blueprint for achieving such a framework. In this regard, the concepts of international legal responsibility of OAGs, internationally wrongful acts and attribution are analysed in the context of crimes committed by OAGs. In conclusion, the article proposes future research in order to advance the prospect of collective claims and collective compensation for victims of SGBV.