Participation of CMN in the dissemination of the FGN Protocol on the Investigation of Sexual Violence

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Dalila Seoane leads sessions on SGBV legal classification, evidentiary challenges and modes of liability

Between 9-12 October 2018, the Workshop on the Dissemination of the Protocol on the Investigation of Sexual Violence was held in Bogotá, Colombia, organised by the Sub-directorate of Public Policies and Institutional Strategy at the Attorney-General’s Office of Colombia (FGN, Fiscalía General de la Nación), Case Matrix Network and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo). Dalila Seoane (CMN, Regional Expert) participated as one of the workshop facilitators, which was attended by more than 40 prosecutors and investigators working on the investigation of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes.

The workshop formed part of the dissemination activities of the Protocol on the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Violence – and its checklists – adopted by FGN Resolution 1774 of 2016, which the Sub-directorate of Public Policies and Institutional Strategy has been carrying out among Colombian prosecutors and investigators. CMN’s participation within the event is also part of the collaboration between CMN and the Sub-directorate of Public Policies to strengthen SGBV prosecution, which included the best practices exchanges carried out in February 2017 and February 2018. The most recent workshop was attended by members of the FGN National and Strategic Directorates of several national jurisdictions (Bogotá, Barranquilla, Pasto, Antioquia, Villavicencio, Arauca, Quibdó, Monteria, Cúcuta, Cali, Cauca, Ibagué, Cundinamarca, among others) engaged in the investigation of sexual violence cases linked with organised crime, armed conflict and post-conflict dynamics.

Issues addressed included SGBV legal classification, evidentiary challenges and modes of liability

The sessions headed by Dalila Seoane addressed the obstacles that sexual violence prosecution entails in the daily work of prosecutors, with particular emphasis on the difficulties and evidentiary challenges that these crimes imply when they occur in armed conflict situations. Moreover, central aspects of SGBV violence when committed as part of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide were developed, in light of its classification in the Colombian Criminal Code. Finally, different modes of liability for the identification of perpetrators of SGBV were also discussed, highlighting direct perpetrators and their hierarchical superiors.

The main topics raised by prosecutors and investigators included the identification of criteria for the attribution of criminal responsibility by chain of command for non-State armed actors, forms of conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated in urban environments, as well as issues related to circumstantial evidence in cases of sole testimony.

CMN’s Annotated Methodological Plan for SGBV Investigation

Activities aimed to combine theoretical and practical elements through the development of pedagogical exercises and case studies to improve the work of legal practitioners in the investigation of sexual violence cases. To this end, tools developed by Case Matrix Network, including the Annotated Methodological Plan for the Investigation of Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Cases, were shared with prosecutors and investigators.

The Methodological Plan elaborates on the elements of the legal hypothesis with an emphasis on designing a prosecutorial strategy with a gender and intersectionality perspective considering SGBV crimes under Title II of the Colombian Criminal Code. Taking as a reference the FGN Protocol on the Investigation of Sexual Violence, the document seeks to serve as a guide in outlining the investigation of SGBV cases, while it provides a reference to the means of proof that have been admitted by international jurisprudence.

Other CMN materials distributed to participants included its International Criminal Law Guidelines: Legal Requirements of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes, Means of Proof of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes, and Command Responsibility (Second Edition).

This activity was held within the framework of the Project ” Promoting greater accountability for conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence (CARSV) crimes by strengthening the mapping and prioritization of CARSV crimes by the Attorney-General’s Office (FGN)” that CMN has been developing with the FGN Sub-directorate of Public Policies and Institutional Strategy, with the support of the British Embassy in Colombia.

 

 

 

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