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INTRODUCTION: In the past decade, and particularly since 1998, there has been an incredible transformation in the treatment of sex-based and gender- based violence' in the fields of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Before this, crimes committed exclusively or disproportionately against women and girls, in times of conflict, were largely either ignored, or at most, treated as secondary to other crimes. Despite the fact that rape and other forms of sexual violence had been widely reported during World War HI, for instance, the crime of rape was not expressly included in either the London Charter, establishing the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg or the Charter of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) at Tokyo. In fact, the term rape is completely absent from the 179-page judgment of the IMT at Nuremberg, and while rape was prosecuted in Tokyo, its prosecution was viewed as ancillary to other war crimes.