Valorising Victims’ Ambivalences in Contemporary Trends in Transitional Justice

  • Thorsten Bonacker
  • Anika Oettler
  • Christoph Safferling


Since the 1990s we can observe both an increasing inclusion of victims as participants in transitional justice processes and a still ongoing debate on the opportunities and risks of such an inclusion. In this chapter we first illustrate several ways in which victims become more integrated into transitional justice. We argue that the valorisation of the victim can basically be traced back to the institutionalisation and dissemination of human rights, which served as a central reference point for social movements in order to demand victims’ rights in the context of dealing with past macro violence. Institutionally, victim participation is visible in transitional justice efforts of international criminal law. Since the present debate about the possibilities and risks of transitional justice is strongly focused on the proceedings of the International Criminal Court (ICC), this example seems particularly well suited to discuss the specific form of victim participation. After the reconstruction of the enhancement of victim participation we will conclude by discussing the ambiguities that result from this enhancement for both the victims and transitional justice processes.


Transitional justice Victim participation Human rights movement Victim-centred transitional justice International criminal law Post-conflict transition 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thorsten Bonacker
    • 1
  • Anika Oettler
    • 1
  • Christoph Safferling
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarburgMarburgGermany

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