Victims' Eligibility before the International Criminal Court in Historical and Comparative Context

in International Criminal Law Review
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Abstract

This article analyzes the eligibility criteria for victims before the International Criminal Court delineated in Rule 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The paper outlines the most complicated matters ensuing from the application and interpretation of the provision as a whole, as well as of each of the four requirements. The study focuses on multifarious and/or contentious issues which have either already emerged in practice or need yet to be addressed by the ICC, such as: the identification requirements for victim-applicants; the recognition of deceased persons as victims; the problem of disappeared individuals; the implications of the introduction of certain legal entities as victims; the notion, substance and compass of the relevant harm depending on the group of victims (natural or legal persons); interpretation and application of the requirement for a causal link between the harm suffered and the alleged crime(s). In addition to the objective to unfold and elucidate major concerns arising from the victims' eligibility criteria, the article suggests a juxtaposition of the ideas underpinning these requirements with the legal regime and practice of other international(ized) (quasi)adjudicative institutions. The conclusion is advanced for the need that the will of the founders be properly construed so that a balance is achieved between victims' participation and expeditiousness of the proceedings before the first permanent international criminal court.

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