Victims and Witnesses
The ICC foresees for victims and witnesses to participate in proceedings, be protected from perpetrators, and apply for reparations. Credit: EPA Photo / HRW
The Statute of the International Criminal Court contains strong provisions concerning the rights and interests of victims. The tone is set in the preamble to the Statute which notes that "during this century millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity." It calls for an end to the impunity of perpetrators of crimes of concern to the international community.
The ICC started with a sound theoretical basis, as well as a reservoir of practical experience from the work of the ad hoc Tribunals, on which to build appropriate mechanisms for the protection of victims/witnesses and to provide assistance to them during the sometimes difficult appearances they will make before the ICC. Measures for the protection of victims and witnesses, the participation of victims in the process, and reparations to them have therefore been included in the Rome Statute and are currently being implemented by the different organs of the ICC.
For the first time in the history of international criminal jurisdictions, the rights of victims find their expression in the context of individual criminal responsibility. In many respects, the fact that there is now little disagreement on these particular issues demonstrates how far the debate has come.
For more information on victims rights, please visit the website of the
Victims Rights Working Group (VRWG)
Background on Victims and Witnesses
For more information, please contact Alix Vuillemin Grendel