The modern pursuit of justice is often multi-scalar, not just at the level of cases moving from lower to higher courts, but from national to international jurisdictions. Lawyers often speak of a “culture of impunity” to describe failed states, but the ongoing failure to secure justice at multiple levels shows how impunity is imbedded in the very workings of modern judiciaries. Rape, often seen to be the crime of impunity because of the difficulty of securing both prosecutions and convictions, tends to normalize violence though forms of emblematic silencing and incitements to speech.  In this paper, I ask what high profile cases of mass rape in the Gujarat violence of 2002 tell us about deep impunity.

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