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Criminalising LGBT persons under national criminal law and Article 7(1)(h) and (3) of the ICC Statute.

Bohlander, Michael (2014) 'Criminalising LGBT persons under national criminal law and Article 7(1)(h) and (3) of the ICC Statute.', Global policy., 5 (4). pp. 401-414.


During the negotiations around the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Statute (ICCS) there was a fierce debate about the use and definition of the term ‘gender’ in its Article 7(3), with a sizeable number of states opposing the use of the term as a synonym for sexual orientation, which could have included lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT). This paper is going to argue that the drafting compromise was ultimately an exercise in moral failure for the sake of the political feasibility, cementing one of the most glaring instances of discrimination, and that it is high time to correct that error, especially in the context of the rising tide of state-sponsored homophobia that can be noticed in certain countries whose politics have drifted to the (far) right. It will examine whether the existing international criminal law does allow for the characterisation of domestic criminalisation as a crime against humanity, with or without the invocation of the term gender, and how to take the debate forward.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bohlander, M. (2014), Criminalising LGBT Persons Under National Criminal Law and Article 7(1)(h) and (3) of the ICC Statute. Global Policy, 5 (4): 401–414 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:18 February 2014
Date deposited:28 August 2014
Date of first online publication:29 June 2014
Date first made open access:29 June 2016

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