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Common Legal Representation at the International Criminal Court: More Symbolic than Real?

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One way in which logistical challenges of multiple victim participants at the International Criminal Court are managed is through common legal representation. This looks set to effect significant changes in the nature of representation. First, minimising the number of groups into which victim participants are arranged rests on a problematic assumption that survivors share largely homogenous interests in participation. Second, practical constraints challenge the effectiveness of common representation on this scale. Third, whilst the Court has sought to underline the importance of consultations about representation with victims, circumstances severely curtail their feasibility. Finally, the procedure for appointment raises the spectre that common legal representation could become an indirect tool to monitor counsel, prompting questions about who can legitimately claim to speak for victims. Taken together these factors risk reducing the range of voices in the courtroom and rendering representation more symbolic than real.

Affiliations: 1: a) Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK; 2: b)Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK


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