Redress for crime victims forms a basic principle of justice. From ancient tribal customs to the law of the main religious traditions, from Roman Law through the Middle Ages to the present, most of the world’s legal systems have recognized the basic principle that victims of criminal offenses should receive some form of redress. Paradoxically, however, victims of ordinary crimes such as theft, robbery, assault or murder have always had a much easier time obtaining redress in one form or another than victims of the more severe crimes such as genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Only in exceptional cases have victims of extremely severe violations of human dignity received fair, adequate and prompt reparation for their suffering.
KeywordsUnited Nations International Criminal Court Rome Statute Geneva Convention International Criminal Tribunal
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- 18.On this point, see Lyal S. Sunga, “The Crimes within the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (Part II, Articles 5–10)”, European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Vol. 6/4 (1998) at 378, arguing that “the Rome Statute foresees a narrower range than either that reflected in general international law, or indeed, that proposed at various stages in the work of the International Law Commission”. Sunga remarks that acts such as the threat of aggression, intervention, colonial domination, the recruitment, use, financing or training of mercenaries, international terrorism or the illicit international traffic in narcotic drugs do not figure in the Rome Statute, although certain of these crimes “even claim a relatively high level of support from the international community at large and remain well anchored in established norms extant in treaty law, and to a lesser degree, international custom”.CrossRefGoogle Scholar