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Prosecute or Protect? International Criminal Responsibility and the Recruitment of Isis Brides

Nathalie M. Greenfield

22 Mar 2022

Isis brides played an integral role in the Isis regime. As such, some domestic courts have begun prosecuting girls, like Linda Wenzel, who travelled to Syria to join Isis. These prosecutions raise the questions: Did girls like Linda travel to Syria of their own volition? Are the girls perpetrators or victims of violence? And who should bear responsibility for their harmful presence in Syria? I will address these questions of criminal responsibility through a legal framework that should guide domestic and international courts when responding to the issue of Isis brides: the international criminal law framework on child soldier recruitment.

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University of Warwick, B.A. 2014; University of Cambridge, MPhil 2015; Cornell Law School, J.D. 2021. I would like to thank Professor Muna B. Ndulo for his support and friendship; this Note would not have been possible without his guidance. Special thanks also to my family and friends for their encouragement. I have great respect for all the staff at Reprieve and Reprieve U.S., who inspire me with their tireless efforts to fight for the most vulnerable, including the girls and women described in this Note.