Source: (2009) Florida Journal of International Law. 21:93-152.

The position of victims in international criminal proceedings has evolved considerably since the creation of the ad hoc tribunals in the early 1990s. No longer relegated to the role of witnesses, victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) may actively participate in Court proceedings provided that their participation does not infringe upon the rights of the accused. This Article seeks to examine how the victim participation endeavor is transforming international criminal procedures at the ICC and what effect this transformation has on the rights and roles of parties and participants. Accordingly, it explores two great divides facing the Court: one between traditional and modem criminal justice theories and another between adversarial and inquisitorial procedural traditions, and then examines the current status of victim participation both in theory and in practice during the pre-trial and trial stage. Subsequently, the Article analyzes how the Court has attempted to reconcile these two divides by highlighting the benefits of victim participation and the number of challenges it poses for the Court. It shows that the victim participation endeavor has transformed court proceedings and created new tensions between the parties and participants. The Article draws the conclusion that the Court needs to clarify the goals of trial generally as well as the goals and purpose of victim participation specifically because the primary and ancillary goals of a Court should to a large extent determine the procedural framework applied. Finally, the Article concludes by proposing modest recommendations for how the Court can better deal with victim concerns in a meaningful and substantive way. (excerpt)