The introduction of an International Criminal Law Section (icls) to the prospective African Union (au) African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights (acjhr) has sparked academic debate. However, discussion of victims’ status at the acjhr-icls has been neglected. Victims’ status as participants and reparation claimants, as provided for in the acjhr Statute, is critically analysed. There are important gaps and limitations, especially concerning the victim participant status, and implementation challenges, particularly regarding the reparation claimant status. Recommendations to address normative problems and face future challenges are provided. The amended acjhr-icls Statute is comparatively tested against inter alia the legal framework and practice of the International Criminal Court (icc). The icc Statute is relevant because the acjhr Statute provisions on victims largely borrow from it. Additionally, despite some deficits, the icc Statute and practice arguably constitute guiding standards to tackle complex victim-related issues at international/hybrid criminal tribunals (ihcts).
Peruvian courts convicted those most responsible for acts that constitute or amount to international crimes committed during Peru’s internal conflict (1980–2000), namely, ex-leaders of the terrorist organisation Shining Path-Peruvian Communist Party and ex-senior state officials, including ex-President Alberto Fujimori. The present article seeks to identify, systematise and discuss the sentencing factors applied in this case-law. The analysis is also conducted comparatively vis-à-vis the law and practice of the International Criminal Court (icc). Sentencing factors in the examined Peruvian law and practice may be categorised into two groups: crime/culpability-related factors and offender’s personal circumstances-related factors. The article concludes that Peruvian sentencing law and practice are generally similar to icc sources.
Two important African criminal justice initiatives, namely, the Extraordinary African Chambers (eac) and the International Criminal Law Section of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights (acjhr-icls), illustrate the trend whereby victims can claim and receive reparations at international/hybrid criminal tribunals (icts). The International Criminal Court (icc) started this trend. This article will examine whether the eac and acjhr-icls can contribute to victims’ status as reparations claimants on substantive, procedural and institutional levels. The eac-Statute as applied in Habré and the acjhr-Statute constitute the primary sources of analysis as complemented by inter alia the law and/or practice of the icc, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (eccc) and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR). This article generally finds that the realisation of victims’ right to reparations at the eac and acjhr-icls depends on how normative and implementation deficits and challenges are handled.
The icc represents a legal laboratory that is still consolidating itself, with multiple unclarities in evidence and procedural law requiring resolution through jurisprudence. Our paper draws on interaction analysis to unpack this process, focusing on the jurisprudential construction of ‘dual status’ victim participant testimony. To elucidate how this evidentiary/procedural element is locally negotiated, we examine an excerpt from the Ongwen hearing transcripts, in which the defense objects against the testimony by a dual status witness called by the victim participants’ legal representative. The analysis traces how the defense counsel’s objection is anchored in a trajectory of prior decisions, and demonstrates that the implementation of the criteria drawn from these decisions is mediated by deep-rooted common-sense assumptions about the ‘ownership’ of testimony. These unspoken assumptions open up a discursive space in which trial actors can discuss the interactional quality of testimony, which adds an element of contingency to the final decision.
In the last decade, the ECCC has ordered reparations for victims of the Khmer Rouge’s mass atrocities committed in Cambodia during the 1970s. Various scholars have examined those reparations ordered by the ECCC. Yet, this is the first academic piece to assess the ECCC’s reparation modalities under the UN Reparation Principles, which contain key standards on reparations for victims of atrocities. Overall, the ECCC has ordered important rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition measures to redress victims’ harm. This is a meaningful current development with regard to reparations for victims of atrocities. However, the ECCC’s reparation law and practice exhibits some important deficits under the UN Reparation Principles. At the ECCC, restitution and compensation are excluded and the range of guarantees of non-repetition has been limited. Nonetheless, these deficits must be considered within the ECCC’s mandate as an internationalised criminal court.
Among international criminal tribunals (‘icts’), the International Criminal Court (‘icc’) for the first time introduced victim participation and reparations for victims. Against potential African withdrawals from the icc Statute, this article seeks to demonstrate the need to retain membership of the icc under victim-oriented considerations. Despite its deficits and limitations, the icc is arguably an important judicial forum for victims of mass atrocities committed in Africa for three arguments. First, human rights are invoked as a standard to examine the legitimacy of the decisions of the icc, African Union (‘au’), and African states. Second, international and African regional human rights law on victim rights binds African states. Third, since au regional criminal justice initiatives present important deficits and limitations in terms of victim rights, they are unfit to replace the icc.