PSRP gender research awarded prestigious book prize

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PSRP research into women’s rights in armed conflict under international law has been awarded a prestigious book prize.

Prof Catherine O’Rourke won the Irish Association of Law Teachers (IALT) Kevin Boyle Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship for her book Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law (Cambridge 2020). The book examines how institutions and regimes interact under international law to protect women’s rights in conflict, using case studies to reveal the implications of the fragmented protection of women’s rights in conflict.

In his nomination, Prof Rory O’Connell said:

In Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law (Cambridge 2020) Prof Catherine O’Rourke powerfully synthesises research across different areas of international law (human rights law, criminal law, humanitarian law, UN Security Council) to address the position of women in conflict. She expertly deploys feminist institutional methodologies to chart the development of international law and practice in this area and to identify optimum ways of effecting change going forward.

Catherine O’Rourke ran the gender stream of the Political Settlements Research Programme as part of her work as coordinator of gender research at the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University. In October 2021 she took up the post of Chair in Global Law at Durham University.

Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme which is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

About the book

Laws and norms that focus on women’s lives in conflict have proliferated across the regimes of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international human rights law and the United Nations Security Council. While separate institutions, with differing powers of monitoring and enforcement, implement these laws and norms, the activities of regimes overlap. Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law is the first book to account for this pluralism and institutional diversity. This book identifies key aspects of how different regimes regulate women’s rights in conflict, and how they interact. Using country case studies to reveal the practical implications of the fragmented protection of women’s rights in conflict, this book offers a dynamic account of how regimes and institutions interact, the extent to which they reinforce each other, and the tensions and gaps in regulation that emerge.

  • Counters siloed analysis by looking across various key regimes
  • Looks at interactions in order to take a dynamic approach in examining institutions
  • Explores case studies to reveal what fragmentation in law means in practice for the regulation of women’s rights in conflict

A policy summary drawn from the book is also available.