Comment on the Victims Lecture Question: “Assuming that the ICC chooses to retain victim participation in its processes, how can victims’ representation at the ICC be improved and victims’ rights be protected?”
The protection of victim's rights may be improved by actually knowing the background of the victim and what will actually help them. This will ensure that testimony goes as well as possible. For example, with the child soldiers testifying against the African troop leader. Knowing the background of the child soldier and the experiences of being in a group like that may have allowed them to predict the very negative reaction of the child soldier to seeing the old leader again by having the screen between them at first. Increasing the risk of retraumatization of the victim wold definitely violate their rights. So some kind of training or foresight with regard to this is essential.
Once we've begun to tackle this issue, and don't actively bring back the trauma or cause problems for the victim's reintegration into the society as in the case of some rape victims, then we should focus more on the victim's participation in the actual proceedings of the case. In regard to this, I think the point of victim's hearings in a criminal trial is to have a victim get acknowledgement for their condition. So, we may consider things like having trials in the victim's country and actually letting the people of that country know that there is, in fact, a trial. This would enforce the idea that the ICC is a source of Justice for people and not just an arbitrary punishment force after e fact. The human element is essential in showing that the Court is aiming for justice rather than for punishment.
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