Coherence in International Criminal Justice: A Victimological Perspective

in International Criminal Law Review
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This article develops a victimological perspective on international criminal justice, based on a review of the main victimological characteristics of international crimes: the complicity of government agencies, the large numbers of victims involved and the peculiar position of victims of international crimes, who at the time of the commission of the crimes are viewed as perpetrators and/or beyond the moral sphere, rather than as victims. Key elements of the framework concern the external coherence of the criminal justice reaction – the interlinking of criminal justice with other reparative efforts – as well as its internal coherence – the extent to which the procedures of international criminal justice are aligned with what it realistically can and should achieve. This latter aspect of coherence is used in an examination of victims’ rights in international criminal justice procedures.

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    Kauzlarich et al.supra note 15.

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    Sikkink and Wallingsupra note 25.

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    Drumblsupra note 35. J. Feinberg ‘The expressive function of punishment’ in J. Feinberg (ed.) Doing and Deserving: Essays in the Theory of Responsibility (Princeton University Press Princeton 1970) pp. 95–110.

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    Fletcher and Weinsteinsupra note 42.

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    Wallersupra note 16.

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    Drumblsupra note 35.

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    Fletcher and Weinsteinsupra note 42 p. 581 propose “an ecological model of social reconstruction that considers a spectrum of interventions that includes but is broader than criminal trials. This approach grounded in empirical studies of the actions of individuals in group contexts as well as some current perceptions of the contribution of criminal trials to social reconstruction contributes to a fuller understanding of the complex processes that underlie the rebuilding of fragmented societies”.

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    Drumblsupra note 35.

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    Drumblsupra note 35.

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    Danielisupra note 57; Letschert and Van Boven supra note 76; R. Mani Beyond Retribution. Seeking Justice in the shadows of war (Polity Press Cambridge 2002).

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    Fletcher and Weinsteinsupra note 43.

  • 92

     See Groenhuijsensupra note 21.

  • 96

    As Rothe (2014)supra note 10 outlines this makes the added obstacles for victims to be recognized as such at the International Criminal Court particularly troubling. The emphasis on the veracity of victims‘ claims and the burden of proof necessary for victims to be able to participate in the process means that many applications are denied while the process of granting victim status is a long and cumbersome one. Here establishing the truth of victims accounts seems at odds with providing a sense of justice to victimized populations.

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    Letschert and Van Bovensupra note 76.

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    Pemberton and Reynaerssupra note 87.

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    Furedisupra note 102.

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    Hermansupra note 90.

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    Lens et al.supra note 107.

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    Pemberton (2011)supra note 87.

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    Groenhuijsen and Pembertonsupra note 20.

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    Braithwaitesupra note 127; Strang supra note 128.

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    Shapland et al.supra note 115; T.G. Okimoto and M. Wenzel ‘The symbolic meaning of transgressions: Towards a unifying framework of justice restoration’ 25 Advances in Group Processes (2008) 291–326.

  • 132

    Strangsupra note 128.

  • 135

    Letschert and Van Bovensupra note 76.

  • 137

    Haldemannsupra note 122; Letschert and Van Boven supra note 76.

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