Feminist judgments at the International Criminal Court: the case of Dominic Ongwen

Tonny Raymond Kirabira, Adrienne Ringin, Rosemary Grey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Feminist Judgment Method has emerged in recent decades as a powerful analytical framework to critically consider and evaluate common legal practice and judgment writing. The Feminist Judgment Method empowers the author to engage in an imaginative practice whereby they take the position of the Judge, with all the evidence that was presented before the original court, and subsequently re-write the judgment. The result is a new judgment, which is legally possibly within the temporal and geographical space of the original judgment, but with a feminist lens which highlights the inherent masculine bias of the law, allowing for the future potential to disrupt said law.

This work, which is part of a larger project as part of the Cambridge University Press ‘Feminist Judgement Series’, Feminist Judgments: Re-imagining the International Criminal Court, reimagines part of the judgment of Mr. Dominic Ongwen. Mr. Ongwen was convicted by Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court on 4 February 2021 of 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mr. Ongwen was found guilty of two counts of forced pregnancy as both a war crime and a crime against humanity. While it was the first conviction of forced pregnancy, the original judgment only briefly considered the gravity and harms of this crime. This work utilises evidence, which was available to Trial Chamber, including the testimony of the two victims as well as that of expert witnesses, to properly situate this crime and its impact as well as place the victims at the forefront of consideration. This work operates to alert academics, judicial officers and future legal chambers to the broad scope that can and should be contemplated when deliberating on the crime of forced pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminist Judgments: Re-imagining the International Criminal Court
EditorsKeasey McLoughlin, Rosemary Grey, Louise Chappell, Suzanne Varrall
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 19 Aug 2022


  • International Criminal Court
  • International Criminal Law
  • Uganda
  • Dominic Ongwen
  • forced pregnancy


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