Judges and Violence Through a Gender Lens: Guatemala and Beyond

Date/Time: 24 August 2022, 14:30-15:15
Venue: University Aula and Youtube

Being a judge – male or female – entails considerable risks. Yet there is little systematic knowledge about these risks and their consequences, for individual judges as well as for the functioning of courts and for judicial independence. Knowledge about how gendered forms of violence impact women judges is even scarcer. The roundtable will discuss the different forms of violence experienced by judges – ranging from physical violence and death threats to sexual harassment and verbal attacks – and the causes and consequences of such violence, with a particular focus on its gendered dimensions. The starting point for the discussion is an analysis of the situation of women judges in Guatemala, and the specifically gendered pressures they experience to limit their independence. The situation, which has been critical for years, deteriorated even further earlier this year and in March Judge Erika Aifán, who presided over cases implicating high-level Guatemalan officials including the country’s president, resigned: “It became clear to me that remaining in Guatemala and continuing to do my job represented a threat to my life.” 

Participants: Ana Braconnier (Center for Research and Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology – CIESAS), Marianne Tøraasen (CMI), Torunn Wimpelmann (CMI, tbc*), Eshetu Temesgen (Bule Hora University School of Law)
Moderator: Andrea Castagnola (University Torcuato Di Tella)

The roundtable presents findings from the report “Mujeres en la judicatura en Guatemala”, and is part of the CMI/LawTransform project Women on the Bench (RCN Grant 2017-2022)