Revisiting Victims’ Participation at the ICC: Advocacy for an Efficient Restorative International Criminal Justice System (PDF)


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This research submits that for the purposes of making victims’ participation to the ICC proceedings more efficient, the victims’ status could be raised to a status similar to that of partie civile common in civil law jurisdictions. However such status should be limited to victims who are ready to take the solemn oath and who accept to be cross-examined and who understand that should they give false evidence to the Court, they would become subject to criminal proceedings for attempt to subvert the Court’s administration of justice. Furthermore the Chamber should have the discretion to grant such status to any victim it deems fit according to the relevance of submissions they intend to make. It further submits that whereas criminal proceedings should remain the focus of their primary mission which is establishing guilt, the reparation mechanism should be victim centered. Indeed one may be tempted to advocate for a reparation system which is less judicial even when such mechanism might remain within the ICC auspices; the mechanism should rather be more restorative, thus leaning more towards mechanisms available under transitional justice.

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Prof. Dr. iur. Gracieux Mbuzukongira teaches International Criminal Law. Other than teaching activities, he has held various positions in the academia including in the Directorate for Postgraduate Studies and the office of Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Also he is a guest researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law in Heidelberg.