Meaningful and Effective? Considering Victims’ Interests Through Participation at the International Criminal Court
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This article explores the role of victims in the criminal proceedings of the International Criminal Court and the extent to which their interests have impacted upon the ICC judges’ decision making in light of human rights law and victimological theorisation. The article begins by first outlining how victims’ interests can be considered in international criminal proceedings, before contrasting this role with the purpose of international criminal justice. The second part of the article examines victim participation within the ICC and how this has affected judicial decision making to assess its effectiveness. The contest between the rights of victims and the role of Prosecutor in determining the selection of charges and perpetrators is also examined in an effort to add to the current debate on victim participation at the ICC. The author finds that at the ICC, despite innovative victim provisions, victims’ interests have little impact on outcomes of the Court. The author argues that in order to ensure the Court is more responsive to victims understanding of justice it should give greater weight to their interests, which in turn is likely to improve their satisfaction with the ICC, as well as public confidence and legitimacy of the work of the Court.
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