Complementarity has been extolled as the pioneering way for the International Criminal Court (icc) to navigate the difficulties of state sovereignty when investigating and prosecuting international crimes. Victims have often been held up to justify and legitimise the work of the icc and states complementing the Court through domestic processes. This article examines how Uganda has developed its laws, legal procedure, and accountability for international crimes over the past decade. This has culminated in the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo, which after five years of proceedings, has yet to move to the trial phase, due to the issue of an amnesty. While there has been a profusion of provisions to allow victims to participate, avail of protection measures and reparations, in practice very little has changed for them. This article highlights the dangers of complementarity being the sole solution to protracted conflicts, in particular the realisation of victims’ rights.
This article, drawing from historical research of the practice and judgements of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, analyses the role of victims within the founding international criminal tribunals of the Second World War. While some commentators have decried the absence of victims at Nuremberg and Tokyo, numerous victim-witnesses testified before these tribunals. However, the outcome of these tribunals has been disappointing to victims who still seek justice over sixty-five years later. This article considers the implications of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals not providing justice to victims and how this has impacted on their legacy. Although these tribunals are neglected in contemporary discussions of victim provisions in modern international criminal justice mechanisms, they can still provide some important lessons for modern international criminal justice mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court, to learn from.