The Status of Victims Under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

  • Michael J. Kelly


This chapter analysis the three traditional foci of victim status under international criminal law: participation, protection, and reparation. Whereas, both the ICTY and ICTR statutes largely ignored victim issues, the Rome Statute of the ICC specifically addresses the interests of victims in cases against their persecutors. However, as a new body with little experience to draw upon, the process of bringing victims into the proceedings in a meaningful way is still under development. As a threshold matter, a person must meet the definition of “victim” under Rule 85 RPE ICC before they can qualify to participate. The author explores the parameters of “victimhood” by placing the definition in a variety of contexts—especially with respect to other rights and obligations victims may have under the Rome Statute. Victim safety is also addressed as well as the new Victim and Witness Unit within the ICC bureaucracy. With respect to reparations for victims, the author considers the options of restitution, compensation, and rehabilitation. To date the Trust Fund for Victims has not resolved key operational questions on reparations concerning the seizure and management of defendant assets, investment, return upon acquittal, and disbursement to qualified victims upon conviction.


Victim status Participation Protection Reparation Attaining victim status Representation of victims Personal interests Preclusion Victim and Witness Unit Trust Fund for Victims 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Creighton University School of LawOmahaUSA

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