international court conducting criminal prosecutions to allow “victims of mass crimes to
participate in its proceedings as victims.”70
Although the reason for providing victims with a right to participate in ICC proceedings
is not explicitly stated in the Rome Statute, “[ i]t is clear from the preamble of the Statute . . . that
bringing justice to the ‘victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of
humanity’ and ‘lasting respect for . . . international justice’ were important rationales behind the
establishment of the [ICC].”71 Additionally, by providing for direct victim participation in ICC
proceedings, the Rome Statute and the RPE “allow victims to present their views and concerns on
issues that personally affect them,”72 provide “fairness to . . . victim[s] who ha[ve] suffered harm,
[help] avoid secondary victimization and victim alienation, treat victim[s] with dignity and
respect, [and] ensur[e] that the truth is exposed and that a just punishment is imposed.”73
C. ICC Basic Principles Related to Victim Participation
The international community has agreed on a basic set of rights that must be accorded to
victims while simultaneously permitting a fair trial for the accused. These rights include: “[t]he
right to respect and recognition”; “[t]he right to receive information”; “[t]he right to provide
information”; “[t]he right to legal advice or representation”; “[t]he right to protection of privacy
and physical safety”; and “[t]he right to receive victim support.”74 The ICC has a number of rules
and procedures in place in order to address these rights as well as the concerns that arise
regarding child participation in international criminal proceedings.75
There are three explicit ways that the Rome Statute provides for victims to directly
participate in proceedings.76 First, Article 15(3) allows victims to “make representations to the
Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with the” RPE when the Prosecutor has determined “that there
is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”77 Second, under Article 19(3), “victims
. . . may . . . submit observations to the [ICC]” in proceedings related to the “jurisdiction or
admissibility” of a case.78 Third, Article 68 of the Rome Statute addresses the “[p]rotection of . . .
victims and witnesses and their participation in [ICC] proceedings.”79 Article 68(3), in particular,
has been viewed as encapsulating a victim’s right to participation.80 This Article states:
PROCEDURE: TOWARDS A COHERENT BODY OF LAW 205, 211 (Göran Sluiter & Sergey Vasiliev eds., 2009) (noting that “[v]ictim
participation is a right provided for in the ICC Statute”).
69 de Brouwer & Groenhuijsen, supra note 15, at 155 (“The Rome Statute and its accompanying Rules of Procedure and Evidence are
generally characterized as being innovative in the area of victims’ rights. The Rome Statute primarily provides for three types of
victims’ rights: (1) participation, (2) protection, and (3) reparation.”).
70 Id. at 149.
71 Friman, supra note 68, at 208.
72 McGonigle, supra note 63, at 94.
73 Friman, supra note 68, at 208.
74 de Brouwer & Groenhuijsen, supra note 15, at 153–54.
75 See, e.g., Pais, supra note 10, at 56 (discussing ways in which the Rome Statute addresses the protection of child witnesses and
victims); Cécile Van de Voorde & Rosemary Barberet, Children and International Criminal Justice, in INTERNATIONAL CRIME AND
JUSTICE 41, 43 (Mangai Natarajan ed., 2011) (noting that the Rome Statute “and accompanying documents include multiple child-related provisions [that include] special measures to protect children during the investigation and prosecution of cases, and . . .
requirements [that the] ICC [employ] staff with expertise in children’s issues”).
76 For a discussion of the three articles of the Rome Statute that allow for direct victim participation see McGonigle, supra note 63, at
94 and de Brouwer & Groenhuijsen, supra note 15, at 158.
77 Rome Statute, supra note 59, at art. 15(3).
78 Id. at art. 19(3).
79 Id. at art. 68.
80 Friman, supra note 68, at 211 (noting that the right to participation described by Article 68(3) should not be viewed as being
“confined to those proceedings for which specific references to victim participation are made in the [Rome] Statute and the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence”); see also Ernesto Kiza & Holger-C. Rohne, Victims’ Expectations Towards Justice in Post-Conflict
Societies: A Bottom-Up Perspective, in EXPLORING THE BOUNDARIES OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE 75, 86 (Ralph Henham
& Mark Findlay eds., 2011) (noting that Article 68(3) establishes “[a] more inclusive approach [to] the victims’ participatory role in