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FCO and International Criminal Court gives evidence to committee

1 December 2015

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On Tuesday 1 December the House of Lords Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict took evidence from officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the International Criminal Court and senior academics.


Tuesday 1 December in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

At 3.45pm:

  • Mr Paul Williams, Director, Multilateral Policy Directorate, FCO
  • Mr Tom Woodroffe, Head, Office of the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, FCO

At 4.30pm:

  • Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC)

At 5.00pm:

  • Dr Kirsten Campbell, Principal Investigator, Gender of Justice: Prosecution of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict research project, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Professor Patricia Sellers, Special Adviser, ICC & Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford
  • Ms Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Distinguished Fellow, International Law, Chatham House


In the first session the Committee focused on:

  • the role of British embassies in implementing the Government's policies on preventing sexual violence in conflict,
  • the participation of women in peace negotiations and peacebuilding,
  • how the FCO will ensure perpetrators of sexual violence in Iraq and Syria are held accountable.

The second session focused on:

  • the challenges associated with investigating and prosecuting sexual violence in conflict,
  • why there have been so few prosecutions for sexual violence at the ICC,
  • whether the UK's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) has had an impact on the work of the ICC.

The final session looked at:

  • the obstacles to prosecutions of sexual violence in conflict under international criminal law,
  • whether further treaty change is required, including a convention on universal jurisdiction is required.

Further information

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