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Victims’ participation in the investigations of the International Criminal Court.

SaCouto, Susana
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. 17(73): 74-105.

… However, as a practical matter, PTC I’s decision to extend Article 68(3) to the investigation phase of a situation has failed to serve the restorative function envisaged by the drafters of the victims’ participation scheme, while also under-mining the efficiency and fairness of the proceedings. … In addition, states are to facilitate the “responsiveness of judi-cial and administrative processes to the needs of victims” by: (a) Informing victims of their role and the scope, timing and progress of the proceedings and of the disposition of their cases, especially where serious crimes are involved and where they have requested such information; and (b) Allowing the views and concerns of victims to be presented and considered at appropriate stages of the proceedings where their personal interests are affected, without prejudice to the accused and consistent with the relevant national criminal justice system … . … Victims’ Participation Generally Before turning to the specific provisions of the ICC victims’ participation scheme, it is important to stress that the Rome Statute provides for the participation of victims qua victims, as opposed to either as witnesses or as claimants. … In fact, as a practical matter, the only immediately obvious manner in which victims could participate under Article 68(3) at the in-vestigation stage – in other words, in which they would have an opportunity to meaningfully present their views and concerns to the Court beyond exercising rights given to victims in other parts of the Rome Statute and ICC Rules – would be if the Court were to hear evidence from victims regarding particular suspects or crimes. … In addition, mak-ing clear that victims need only “communicate with the Court” to enjoy many of the same rights they are likely to enjoy if determined to have participation rights under Article 68(3) will significantly ease the burden of the current victims’ participation scheme on the Chambers and the parties. (Author’s Abstract)


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