To have a broad understanding of a crime and its commission, various parties are involved. These include the victim, investigating or legal enforcement agencies, witnesses, experts, the perpetrator or accused, legal representative of the opposing parties and judicial officers of the Courts of Law.
When it comes to Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes, multitude of instances can be observed around the World at any given time. However, in order to address such grievances, the means and methods along with applicable legal frameworks vastly vary across the globe. At the international level, International Criminal Law has led to development of various provisions under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, in order to provide protection to the rights of the victims along with the rights of the witnesses, while bringing the perpetrators to justice.
This paper intends to address the following aspects of sexual and gender-based crimes, at the international arena: Firstly, this paper examines the existing legal provisions of the International Criminal Court with regards to victim and witness participation during a hearing for sexual and gender-based crime. Secondly, it examines the general rules and regulations put in place to clarify the extent, duration and nature of protection provided to such victims and witnesses. Thirdly, the paper seeks to further elaborate on observations regarding the adequacy of the existing system for protection of victims and witnesses. Fourthly, this paper elaborates on specific provisions needed to protect the safety and dignity of victims and witnesses of such sexual and gender-based violence. Lastly, the paper concludes by highlighting the nature of challenges faced by the International Criminal Court in providing adequate protection to victims and witnesses of war crimes and crimes against humanity and make suggestions that can be considered to make it stronger and more effective.