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Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

Advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention From the 1860s onwards, international law became an academic discipline in its own right in Europe and the Americas, taught separately from philosophy, natural law or civil law, and came to be written by professional academics or theoretically inclined diplomats. 1 Until then what existed was the droit public de l’Europe or ‘external public law’. Britain in particular had to

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
Open Access (free)
The prognosis
Sara De Vido

, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis has provided a sufficient descriptive framework for systematising my argument and has encouraged a reflection which has led me to the elaboration of a new concept in international law around which to construe states’ obligations. I started my analysis from the conviction that VAW always relates to the right to health and the right to reproductive health. I contended that the relationship is not merely a causal one, however, in the sense that VAW causes a violation of the rights to health and to reproductive health (what I called the

in Violence against women’s health in international law
Open Access (free)
Reconceptualising states’ obligations in countering VAWH
Sara De Vido

the dimensions. In this section, I will elaborate further the intuition of the CEDAW in GR No. 35 of 2017, which stressed that states have obligations stemming from actions committed by state and non-state 179 DE VIDO 9781526124975 PRINT.indd 179 24/03/2020 11:01 Violence against women’s health in international law actors and, with regard to the former, to ensure that laws, policies, programmes and procedures do not discriminate against women.4 The recommendation does not refer, however, or only partly, to cases in which it is the state that, through its policies

in Violence against women’s health in international law
Open Access (free)
The narrative
Sara De Vido

Introduction: the narrative Premise and main argument: elaborating the new notion of violence against women’s health Violence against women (VAW) has been the object of hundreds of studies, pertaining to different areas of research. International law has been one of these areas, the analysis focusing on gender-based violence as a violation of human rights, in particular a violation of the principle of non-discrimination, the prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to life, the right to respect for private and family life, and on states

in Violence against women’s health in international law
Open Access (free)
A conceptualisation of violence against women’s health (VAWH)
Sara De Vido

’ obligations in the field. It is true, indeed, that Hippocratic medicine was also founded on the ­available – hence, surely not 100 per cent complete – evidence-based knowledge.2 As interestingly argued by one author, who relied on the rhetorical theory, ‘all theoretical discussions of international law are incomplete in one way or the other,’ and the reason is that theorists ‘choose,’ they emphasise different aspects of the discipline.3 To paraphrase the most common definition of VAW – violence against women is a violation of women’s human rights – violence against women

in Violence against women’s health in international law
Open Access (free)
‘Case history’ on violence against women, and against women’s rights to health and to reproductive health
Sara De Vido

international law the authorities. This violence is gender-based and rooted in the consideration of women as weak and ill-suited to making (what society perceives as) ‘appropriate’ decisions. As posited by a scholar, ‘laws that question the moral agency of women perpetuate stereotypes that women lack the capacity for rational decision-­ making.’10 Law and health policies can constitute a ‘barrier to women’s access to services.’11 I found maternal health another area well worth the investigating, and I will also focus on the underexplored issue of ‘obstetric violence,’ defined

in Violence against women’s health in international law
Setting the precedent

This book is an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the history of humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century, the heyday of this controversial doctrine. It starts with a brief presentation of the present situation and debate. The theoretical first part of the book starts with the genealogy of the idea, namely the quest for the progenitors of the idea in the sixteenth and seventeenth century which is a matter of controversy. Next the nineteenth century ‘civilization-barbarity’ dichotomy is covered and its bearing on humanitarian intervention, with its concomitant Eurocentric/Orientalist gaze towards the Ottomans and other states, concluding with the reaction of the Ottomans (as well as the Chinese and Japanese). Then the pivotal international law dimension is scrutinized, with the arguments of advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention from the 1830s until the 1930s. The theoretical part of the book concludes with nineteenth century international political theory and intervention (Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and especially J.S. Mill). In the practical second part of the book four cases studies of humanitarian intervention are examined in considerable detail: the Greek case (1821-1831), the Lebanon/Syria case (1860-61), the Balkan crisis and Bulgarian case (1875-78) in two chapters, and the U.S. intervention in Cuba (1895-98). Each cases study concludes with its bearing on the evolution of international norms and rules of conduct in instances of humanitarian plights. The concluding chapter identifies the main characteristics of intervention on humanitarian grounds during this period and today’s criticism and counter-criticism.

Melanie Klinkner

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

unlawful but European institutions are endorsing it. So SOS says: ‘No! Actually, according to international law, these are the obligations of states.’ It’s kind of a vigilante of the Mediterranean. Right now, my problem with NGOs like MSF and Save the Children and Oxfam is not what they do out in the field. It is that their staff generally don’t act as citizens. They go out to Uganda or DRC or whatever but they don’t engage with politics in their own home countries. Perhaps this is a result of the way NGO workers see themselves. My PhD research was

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs