Aspects of victim participation in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court

Author(s)Baumgartner, Elisabeth
Title Aspects of victim participation in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court
Source International Review of the Red Cross, vol 90, Number 870, June 2008, p409-440.
Date 2008
Document type Journal article
Coverage International
Summary The aim of this article is to analyse the procedural aspects of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) victim participation scheme, its implementation and its possible influence on sentencing and to identify certain difficulties in the interpretation of the relevant provisions. An underlying problem is the broad wording of the provisions on victim participation found in the ICC's constitutive documents. One conflict arises around the stage at which a victim should be allowed to participate and whether this extends as early as the investigative stage. Another challenge has been the definition of victim and the definition of one who has a personal interest. The Statutes or Rules do not give details about the substance and content of victim participation and their impact upon proceedings can depend on the stage of the proceedings. The author discusses the problem of striking a balance between victim interests and other interests of criminal proceedings and how to deal with victims who are of importance as witnesses. The article concludes by suggesting that the ICC needs a more comprehensive, concerted and clearly defined approach towards victim participation. The ICC also needs to consider the limited capacity of the Court to handle a large number of victim applications.
Keywords International Criminal Court; victim participation; victims rights; sentencing

Victims rights