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 and Western Research Chair in International Criminal Justice (2024-2028). Her research and writing focus on gender issues within international criminal justice and she has published widely in this field, 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. She also researches outer space law, particularly international environmental space law, space mining, state responsibility in space, armed conflict in space, a feminist analysis of space law, and Canadian space law. She is a faculty member of Western’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration.

Professor Oosterveld was awarded the 2023 Canadian Association of Law Teachers Academic Excellence Award and the 2022 Royal Society of Canada Ursula Franklin Award in Gender Studies. Previously, she was a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists from 2014-2021 and was awarded Western University’s Faculty Scholar designation from 2017-2019. Her co-edited volume (with Indira Rosenthal and Susana SáCouto), Gender in International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2022), was awarded the 2023 American Society of International Law Women in International Law Interest Group's Scholarship Prize for Best Book.

Professor Oosterveld is the Acting Director of Western University’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. She is also a member of the SSHRC-funded Canadian Partnership for International Justice, which was awarded the 2023 Governor-General’s Innovation Award and the 2022 SSHRC Impact Partnership Award. 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


Indira Rosenthal, Valerie Oosterveld, and Susana SáCouto (eds.) Gender in International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2022) 496 pp.

John Currie, Craig Forcese, Joanna Harrington, and Valerie Oosterveld, International Law: Doctrine, Practice and Theory, 3rd ed. (Irwin Law, 2022) 936 pp.

Margaret M. deGuzman and Valerie Oosterveld (eds.), The Elgar Companion to the International Criminal Court (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020) 421 pp.

Articles and Book Chapters:

Kathleen Maloney, Melanie O’Brien, and Valerie Oosterveld, “Forced Marriage as the Crime Against Humanity of ‘Other Inhumane Acts’ in the International Criminal Court’s Ongwen Case” (2023) 23 International Criminal Law Review 705-730.

Alex Zhou, Valerie Nwaokoro, Valerie Oosterveld, and Adam Sirek, “Building a One Country One Licensure Framework: Applications for the future of Canadian Space Physicians” (2023) IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology 1-4.

Indira Rosenthal, Valerie Oosterveld, and Susana SáCouto, “Introduction” and “Chapter 1: What is ‘Gender’ in International Criminal Law?” in Indira Rosenthal, Susana SáCouto and Valerie Oosterveld, Gender in International Criminal Law (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2022) 1-45.

Valerie Oosterveld, “The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Instigating International Criminal Law’s Consideration of Forced Marriage” (2021) 15(1) Florida International University Law Review [Symposium: The Legal Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone] 55-59.

Indira Rosenthal and Valerie Oosterveld, “Gender and the ILC’s 2019 Draft Articles on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity” (2020) 6(2) African Journal of International Criminal Justice 215-227.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Forced Marriage: Terminological Coherence and Dissonance in International Criminal Law” (2019) 27(4) William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 1263-1282.

Valerie Oosterveld, “The Construction of Gender in Child Soldiering in the Special Court for Sierra Leone” in Mark A. Drumbl and Jastine C. Barrett, Research Handbook on Child Soldiers (Elgar Publishers, 2019) 74-94.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Gender, Enslavement and War Economies: A Case Study from the Special Court for Sierra Leone” in Solange Mouthaan and Olga Jurasz (eds) Gender and War: International and Transitional Justice Perspectives (Intersentia, 2019) 147-168.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Crimes of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the Legacy of the Tribunals” in Michael Scharf and Milena Sterio (eds.), The Legacy of the Ad Hoc Tribunals in International Criminal Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019) 197-220.

Valerie Oosterveld, “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.

Valerie Oosterveld, “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.

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

Valerie Oosterveld, “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.

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

Valerie Oosterveld and Patricia Viseur-Sellers, “Issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence at the ECCC”, 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.

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

Valerie Oosterveld, “Sexual Violence Directed Against Men and Boys in Armed Conflict and Mass Atrocity: Addressing a Gendered Harm in International Criminal Tribunals” (2014) 10(1) Journal of International Law and International Relations 107-128.

Valerie Oosterveld, “The Influence of Domestic Legal Traditions on the Gender Jurisprudence of International Criminal Tribunals”, (2013) 2(4) Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 825-849.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Gender and the Charles Taylor Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone” (2012) 19(1) William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 7-34.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Forced Marriage and the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Legal Advances and Conceptual Difficulties” (2011) 2(2) Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 127-158.