Source: (2013) Contemporary Justice Review. 16(2) 193-213.
In the field of international criminal justice, the international criminal court (ICC) has been lauded for its integration of victim participants into its legal proceedings. In particular, the ICC’s framework of victim participation has been understood to figure as a balance between retributive and restorative justice as it enables the actual voices of the victims to be heard. However, there has been little research that considers how victim participation works in practice as a form of truth-telling. In order to begin to address this gap, the integration of the ‘voices of the victim’ into the proceedings and outcome of the Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is explored,. The forms of harms and experiences that comprise the truth of the events under adjudication put forward by the victim participants are considered, and then how the truth-telling functions of the ICC represent these states of injury. While the ICC’s legal proceedings enable victims to speak of their harms and experiences, their ‘voices’ are largely absent from its judgment. To address this issue, the ICC needs to develop and maintain a level of “restorative justice coherence’ to manage victims’ expectations of its justice approach. (excerpt)
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