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Victims' Rights and the International Criminal Court: Perceptions within the Court Regarding the Victims’ Right to Participate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2010

Abstract

Based on interviews with 23 key figures at the International Criminal Court, this study represents an effort to go beyond the text of the Rome Statute. It tries to understand the different views or interpretations of the law regarding victim participation that exist within the organization and will ultimately shape how victims’ rights are applied in the Court. Rather than being a legal study, this research is rooted in organizational psychology.

Type
HAGUE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS: International Criminal Court
Copyright
Copyright © Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law 2010

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References

1 Stahn, C., Olasolo, H., and Gibson, K., ‘Participation of Victims in Pre-trial Proceedings of the ICC’, (2006) 4 Journal of International Criminal Law 219Google Scholar.

2 Bassiouni, M. C., ‘International Recognition of Victims’ Rights’, (2006) 6 (2)Human Rights Law Review 203CrossRefGoogle Scholar; J. Wemmers, D. Casoni, and M.-M. Cousineau, Reparation and the International Criminal Court: Meeting the Needs of Victims (2006).

3 Chung, C., ‘Victims’ Participation at the International Criminal Court: Are Concessions of the Court Clouding the Promise?’ (2008) 6 Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 459Google Scholar.

4 H. Friman, ‘The International Criminal Court and Participation of Victims: A Third Party to the Proceedings?’ (2009) 22 LJIL 485.

5 C. Smart, Feminism and the Power of Law (1989).

6 H. Blumer, Symbolic Interactionism: Perspectives and Method (1969).

7 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Adopted by the United Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court on 12 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF. 183/9.

8 See Friman, supra note 4, for a discussion of relevant court decisions on victim participation.

note 4

9 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, Adopted by the Assembly of States Parties, First Session, New York, 3–10 September 2002, UN Doc. ICC-ASP/1/3.

10 Victim Participation and Reparation Section, International Criminal Court, 8 December 2009.

11 For a discussion of ICC decisions on victim participation see Friman, supra note 4. In particular see, e.g., Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo (Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Decision on Victims’ Participation, ICC-01/04-01/06-1119, T.Ch.I, 18 January 2008; Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo (Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Judgment on the Appeals of the Prosecutor and the Defence against Trial Chamber I's Decision on Victims’ Participation of 18 January 2008. ICC-01/04-01/06 OA9 OA10, A.Ch.,11 July 2008.

note 4

12 E. Viano, ‘Victims, Offenders and the Criminal Justice System: Is Restitution the Answer?’, in B. Galaway and B. Hudson (eds.), Offender Restitution in Theory and Action (1978), 91; M. Bard and D. Sangry, The Crime Victim's Book (1979); Baril, M., ‘Réactions à la victimisation’ (1980) 13 Criminologie 94CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

13 UN Doc. A/Res/40/34, 29 November 1985.

14 Jousten, M., ‘Listening to the Victim: The Victim's Role in European Criminal Justice Systems’, (1987) 34 Wayne Law Review 95Google Scholar.

15 Wemmers, J., ‘Victim Policy Transfer: Learning from One Another’, (2005) 11 European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 121CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

16 Jousten, supra note 14.

note 14

17 Also known in England and Wales as a victim personal statement.

18 A. Ashworth, ‘Victim Impact Statements and Sentencing’, (1993) Criminal Law Review 498. In the United States, Payne v. Tennessee (501 US 808 (1991)) brought victim participation to the country's Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided to allow the inclusion of VISs in cases involving a possible death sentence, thus reversing a decision by the state of Tennessee to exclude victim input from possible capital cases. For a discussion see E. Erez, ‘Victim Participation in Sentencing: And the Debate Goes On . . .’ (1994) International Review of Victimology 17.

19 E. Erez, ‘Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Victim? Victim Impact Statements as Victim Empowerment and Enhancement of Justice’, (1999) Criminal Law Review 545; A. Sanders, C. Hoyle, R. Morgan, and E. Cape, ‘Victim Impact Statements: Don't Work, Can't Work’, (2001) Criminal Law Review 447; E. Erez and J. Roberts, ‘Victim Participation in the Criminal Justice System’, in R. Davis, A. Lurigio, and S. Herman (eds.), Victims of Crime (2007), 277.

20 Edwards, I., ‘An Ambiguous Participant: The Crime Victim and Criminal Justice Decision-Making’, (2004) 44 British Journal of Criminology 867CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 See P. Rock, After Homicide: Practical and Political Responses to Bereavement (1998); see also K. Roach, Due Process and Victims’ Rights (1999), who describes how this debate has been fuelled by victims’ groups claiming equal rights for victims.

22 Friman, supra note 4; Stahn, Olasolo, and Gibson, supra note 2.

note 4
note 2

23 Ashworth, supra note 18; Roach, supra note 21.

note 18
note 21

24 Erez, supra note 19.

note 19

25 M. Bassiouni, ‘“Quesas Crimes”’, in Bassiouni (ed.), The Islamic Criminal Justice System (1982).

26 Davis, R. and Mulford, C., ‘Victims’ Rights and New Remedies: Finally Getting Victims Their Due’, (2008) 24 (2)Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 198CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

27 Skogan, W. and Antunes, G., ‘Information, Apprehension and Deterrence: Exploring the Limits of Police Productivity’, (1979) 7 (3)Journal of Criminal Justice 217CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 For example, Art. 722 of the Canadian Criminal Code obliges judges to ‘consider’ victim impact statements whenever they are available.

29 See J. Wemmers, Introduction à la victimologie (2003), for a discussion of passive and active participation by victims in the criminal justice system.

30 Edwards, supra note 20, at 977.

note 20

31 The remaining seven respondents did not talk about when victims should be allowed to participate and whether victim participation should be permitted before an arrest warrant has been issued.

32 Office of the Prosecutor, Policy Paper on Victims’ participation under Article 68(3) of the ICC Statute. December 2009. See also the updated version of April 2010, available at www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/BC21BFDF-88CD-426B-BAC3-D0981E4ABE02/281751/PolicyPaperonVictimsParticipationApril2010.pdf.

33 Ibid., at 1.

34 Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Case of Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, ICC-01/04-01/07-1788, Trial Chamber II, 22 January 2010.

35 Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ICC-01/04-01/06 OA9 OA10, Appeals Chamber. Judgment on the appeals of the appeals of the Prosecutor and the Defence against Trial Chamber I's decision on victims’ participation of 18 January 2008.

36 Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Case of the Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, ICC-01/04-01/07, Pre-Trial Chamber I, Decision on the Set of Procedural Rights Attached to Procedural Status of Victim at the Pre-Trial Stage of the Case, 13 May 2008.

37 supra note 34.

note 34

38 Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ICC-01/04 OA4 OA5 OA6, Appeals Chamber, Judgment on victim participation in the investigation stage of the proceedings in the appeal of the OPCD against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of 7 December 2007 and in the appeals of the OPCD and the Prosecutor against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of 24 December 2007.

39 P. Vinck, P. Pham, S. Baldo, and R. Shigekane, ‘Living with Fear: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice and Social Reconstruction in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’, Human Rights Centre, University of Berkeley, Berkeley, 2008.

40 P. Pham, P. Vinck, M. Balthazard, S. Hean, and E. Stover, ‘So We Will Never Forget: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Social Reconstruction and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’, Human Rights Centre University of California, Berkeley, 2009.

41 E. Stover, The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promise of Justice in The Hague (2005).

42 V. Tochilovsky, ‘Victims’ Procedural Rights at Trial: The Approach of Continental Europe and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’, in J. J. M. Van Dijk, R. Van Kaam, and J. Wemmers (eds.), Caring for Victims of Crime (1999), 287.

43 Shapland, J., ‘The Criminal Justice System and the Victim’, (1985) 10 Victimology: An International Journal 485Google Scholar; see also J. Shapland, J. Willmore, and P. Duff, Victims in the Criminal Justice System (1985); M. Baril, S. Durand, M. M. Cousineau, and S. Gravel, Mais nous, les témoins . . .(1983); J. Wemmers, Victims in the Criminal Justice System (1996); Wemmers, J. and Cyr, K., ‘Victims’ Perspectives on Restorative Justice: How Much Involvement Are Victims Looking for?’, (2004) 11 International Review of Victimology 259CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

44 J. Wemmers, ‘Restorative Justice: The Choice between Bilateral Decision-Making Power and Third Party Intervention’, in Brian Williams (ed.), Reparation and Victim-Focused Social Work (2001), 34.

45 See Ashworth supra note 18; Roach supra note 21.

note 18
note 21

46 Davis and Mulford, supra note 26; Carr, P., Logio, K., and Maier, S., ‘Keep Me Informed: What Matters for Victims as They Navigate the Juvenile Criminal Justice System in Philadelphia’, (2003) 10 International Review of Victimology 117CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

note 26

47 Wemmers, supra note 43.

note 43

48 Wemmers, supra note 43; Shapland, Willmore, and Duff, supra note 43; Erez, supra note 19.

note 43
note 43
note 19

49 C. Hoyle, C. Cape, R. Morgan, and A. Sanders, ‘Evaluation of the “One Stop Shop” and Victim Statement Pilot Projects’, Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate, 1998.

50 Prairie Research Associates, ‘Multi-site Survey of Victims of Crime and Criminal Justice Professionals across Canada’, Department of Justice Canada, 2004.

51 Erez and Roberts, supra note 19, at 277.

note 19

52 Edwards, supra note 20.

note 20
7
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