Associate Dean Valerie Oosterveld is part of a 22-person team of leading Canadian academics and non-governmental actors awarded a $2.5 million Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The project, which will run for the next five years, aims to strengthen justice for victims of international crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
It will link academic researchers, legal clinics and NGO partners across Canada to work on an interdisciplinary research program that focuses on different and complementary routes that victims of international crimes can take in Canada, in other states and before international institutions.
The project, hosted at Laval University, is led by Fannie Lafontaine (Laval University, Law Faculty, Quebec City) and co-directed by Jayne Stoyles (Canadian Centre for International Justice, Ottawa).
Oosterveld will oversee the project's research on sexual and gender-based violence.
"This grant will lead to a deeper understanding of how to prosecute serious gender-based crimes, such as rape and sexual slavery, in the context of war and mass atrocity,” says Oosterveld. “I’m very pleased to be a part of this SSHRC project, which will advance how international criminal law comprehends and addresses the serious impact of gendered forms of violence.”
The Partnership will also address issues such as the place and role of victims in devising and implementing accountability mechanisms, strategic litigation in Canada and abroad, corporate liability, cooperation with international tribunals and between countries in the fight against impunity, deportation of suspected war criminals and access to refugee status, among other issues.
It is expected that hundreds of Canadian students will be involved in the project, including as research assistants.