Valerie Oosterveld

Valerie Oosterveld

Academic Degrees:

B.Soc.Sc. (Ottawa), LL.B. (Toronto), LL.M. and J.S.D. (Columbia)

Phone: 661-2111 x80037
Office: LB 112

Valerie Oosterveld is a Professor at Western Law. Her research and writing focus on gender issues within international criminal justice, including on the concept of gender in international criminal law and the interpretation of sexual and gender-based crimes by international criminal courts and tribunals. Professor Oosterveld is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and was awarded Western University’s Faculty Scholar designation from 2017-2019. She is also a member of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is the Associate Director of Western University’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. She served as an Associate Dean at Western Law from 2014-2018.

Before joining the Faculty of Law in 2005, Valerie served in the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In this role, she provided legal advice on international criminal accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, especially with respect to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. She served on the Canadian delegation to various ICC-related negotiations, including the Assembly of States Parties.

In 1998, she was a member of the Canadian delegation to UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an ICC. In this role, she negotiated various gender provisions, as Canada played a leading role in pressing for a gender-sensitive Rome Statute. In 2010, she served on the Canadian delegation to the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Kampala, Uganda.

Research Highlights

“Gender, Enslavement and War Economies in Sierra Leone” in Solange Mouthaan and Olga Jurasz (eds) Gender and War: International and Transitional Justice Perspectives (Intersentia, 2019) 145-168.

“Canada and the Development of International Criminal Law: What Role for the Future?” in Oonagh Fitzgerald, Mark Jewett, Valerie Hughes and Basil Ugochukwu (eds), Canada in International Law @150: Past, Present and Future (McGill Queen’s University Press, 2018) 425-442, available online as CIGI Canada in International Law at 150 and Beyond Paper No. 16

“The ICC Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes: A Crucial Step for International Criminal Law” (2018) 24(3) William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 1-15.

“Forced Marriage”, in Naomi Cahn, Dina Haynes, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Nahla Valji (eds.), Gender and Conflict Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2017) 240-252.

“Women and Girls Fleeing Conflict: Gender and the Interpretation and Application of the 1951 Refugee Convention”, in Volker Türk, Alice Edwards and Cornelius Wouters (eds.), In Flight from Conflict and Violence: UNHCR's Consultations on Refugee Status and Other Forms of International Protection (Cambridge University Press, 2016) 183-214.

“Crimes Against Humanity”, in Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Alette Smeulers (eds.), Companion to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (Elgar Publishers, 2016) 110-139.

(with Patricia Viseur-Sellers) “The Contributions of the ECCC on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence”, in Simon Meisenberg and Ignaz Stegmiller (eds.), The Hybrid Contributions of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to International Criminal Law (TMC Asser/Springer, 2016) 321-351.

“Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone: The Contribution of Transitional Justice Mechanisms to Domestic Law Reform” in Kirsten Ainley, Rebekka Friedman and Christopher Mahony (eds.), Evaluating Transitional Justice: Accountability and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) 129-151.

“Constructive Ambiguity and the Meaning of ‘Gender’ for the International Criminal Court” (2014) 16(4) International Feminist Journal of Politics 563-580.

“Evaluating the Special Court for Sierra Leone’s Gender Jurisprudence”, in Charles C. Jalloh (ed.), The Sierra Leone Special Court and its Legacy: The Impact for Africa and International Criminal Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 234-259.