Development of International Criminal Law in Light of Criminalization of Forced Marriage by the Special Court for Sierra Leone



Forced marriage is a kind of sexual violence, which usually happens during armed conflicts. However, what distinguishes this crime from other sexual crimes, just as what was recognized in Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the case Prosecutor v. Brima, Kamara and Kanu is imposing marital status on one or two sides against their wills. In fact these commitments which arose from a semi-marriage relation would involuntarily be imposed and may lead to corporal or mental afflictions on the victims of such marriage. The constitutive elements of forced marriage as a crime against humanity according to customary international law confirms that this crime is comparable with other examples of crimes against humanity, which have been defined in the Statute of the Special Court.