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No Longer Just a Victim: The Impact of Victim Participation on Trial Proceedings at the International Criminal Court

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The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted an innovative participatory role for victims hailed as a major step towards recognising the rights of victims in international criminal proceedings. However, it is unclear whether direct participation has resulted in a more productive role for victims. This article discusses the goals of trial, focusing on the victims’ interests and the interests of the ICC; the statutory and jurisprudential rules pertaining to victims’ participation at the Court; and the testimony of witnesses questioned by the victims’ representatives in the Lubanga and Katanga trials. The article concludes that the victims’ representatives in Lubanga and Katanga achieved some of the goals of trial but had a more limited impact on others. It also warns that the ICC needs to continue to protect the rights of the victims and ensure that it does not improperly limit their participation.

Affiliations: 1: Ph.D. Researcher, Middlesex University London, London, UK,


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