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Department of Law

Law theses of the month: Marie Wilmet

In the 'Theses of the month' series, the EUI Law Department presents the remarkable work of its researchers and their impactful contributions to the field of law. This month, the Department features Marie Wilmet, who defended her PhD thesis on 12 June 2023.

18 July 2023 | Research

Law theses of the month_Marie Wilmet

Marie Wilmet defended her PhD thesis at the European University Institute (EUI) under the supervision of Professors Neha Jain and Julian Fernandez.

Wilmet is a Belgian Law alumna holding a Bachelor's degree in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Paris and an LLM in Public International Law from Leiden University. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Thucydide Centre of Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. Previously, she worked for the T.M.C. Asser Institute in The Hague, where she specialised in International Criminal Law and discovered a strong interest in research which inspired her to pursue a PhD at the EUI.

Her thesis titled, Contributions of victims’ procedural rights to gender justice in international criminal law: the case of the extraordinary chambers in the courts of Cambodia, focuses on the intersection of victims' rights and gender justice in International Criminal Law. Her work sheds light on the challenges faced by victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in obtaining justice before international and hybrid criminal courts. By empirically examining the contributions of victims' procedural rights to gender justice, Wilmet's research provides valuable insights and proposes concrete solutions to enhance accountability for SGBV crimes.

Wilmet's research introduces a new model for gender justice in international criminal law, comprising four essential components: the recognition of SGBV crimes, the participation of SGBV victims, the reparation of gendered harms, and court culture. Through a comprehensive case study of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia's Case 002/02, she combines legal research with participant observation, interviews with professionals and SGBV civil parties, and archival research to confirm the model's validity. Her research highlights that victims' procedural rights can indeed contribute to gender justice, but the extent of their impact depends on various factors that influence a court's culture.

Wilmet's motivation to explore this topic arose from the observation that SGBV victims faced significant challenges in obtaining justice within international and hybrid criminal courts. By combining doctrinal and socio-legal research, she aimed to analyse the law in action and investigate gender justice from a victim-oriented perspective. Based on her findings, she suggests that international and hybrid criminal courts prioritise the implementation of victims' procedural rights to enhance gender justice. Her research recommends specific measures to improve the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of SGBV crimes, as well as the reparation of gendered harms.

Through her empirical analysis and concrete recommendations, Marie Wilmet's work aims to bring about positive changes in practice, policymaking, and academia. Her dedication to furthering gender justice in International Criminal Law demonstrates her commitment to making a lasting impact in the field.

Last update: 20 July 2023

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