Reading: Chiseche Salome Mibenge

New York, NY

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Sex and International Tribunals interrogates the unstated cultural assumptions behind the legal profession’s claims to impartiality and universality. At a moment when international interventions in societies in crisis have never been more visible, this powerful and in-depth analysis is sorely needed.
— Mary Moran, Colgate University


Chiseche Salome Mibenge teaches international humanitarian law and human rights at Lehman College. She has been a human rights consultant in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone.
Before the 21st century, there was little legal precedent for the prosecution of sexual violence as a war crime. Now, international tribunals have the potential to help make sense of political violence against both men and women. In Sex and International Tribunals, Mibenge identifies the cultural assumptions behind the legal profession’s claims to impartiality and universality.


Focusing on the postwar tribunals in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, Mibenge mines transcripts of criminal trials and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions to identify and closely examine legal definitions of forced marriage, sexual enslavement, and conscription of children that overlook the gendered experiences of armed conflict beyond the mass rape of women and girls.