Introducing Frances Nguyen

IntLawGrrls

Frances NguyenFrances Nguyen is a recent law graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School based in Portland, Oregon. In 2011, she traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia to study international criminal law. While in Phnom Penh, she visited the Killing Fields and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Her experience there inspired her to research and write about forced marriage. Last year, she spent a semester working at the Office of the Co-Prosecutors at the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) in Cambodia. At UNAKRT, she worked with Prosecutors to ensure sex and gender-based crimes such as rape and forced marriage were thoroughly investigated and included alongside other crimes against humanity.

At Lewis & Clark, Frances became active in immigration law and civil rights. She volunteered at the Oregon Justice Resource Center by helping refugees fill out their paperwork to become naturalized US citizens. She worked…

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The Issue of Consent: Clarifying the Differences between Forced and Arranged Marriage

IntLawGrrls

Due to the frequent overlap with arranged marriage, confusion often arises as to how forced marriage should be classified under international criminal law. This has led scholars, courts, and legal practitioners to either subsume forced marriage under sexual slavery, ignore forced marriage in criminal indictments despite contrary evidence, or label it as an “other inhumane act” under crimes against humanity. To clarify these misconceptions, forced marriage should be removed from the “other inhumane acts” category and should be enumerated as a distinct crime against humanity alongside other sex and gender-based crimes under the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s Rome Statute. However to understand forced marriage, it is important to distinguish forced marriage from arranged marriage.

Forced marriage occurs when a perpetrator compels a person through threats or force into a conjugal association, resulting in great suffering, or serious mental or physical injury on the victim. An arranged…

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