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?”
Re: Genocide. America's Love Affair With Al Qaeda. The 20 Year Saga Of A Man ICE Can't Deport Because Of Everyone Else. (Amazon Kindle)
I've been trying to get the ICC to take this case which gives me somewhat of a unique perspective to address this question from a victim standpoint. It's a case that the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington DC should be more appropriately handling but intentionally isn't; there are a lot of criminals and a lot of victims and a overwhelming amount of "witness tampering towards a population not actively involved in the hostilities." I'm one of the last known to be alive victim witnesses and I'm facing a heck of a time myself--trying to keep alive to seek justice for all the victims in some court, somewhere on this planet.
For discussion purposes in this forum, let's assume that the ICC decides in the future that the crimes meet all the criteria, and they could prosecute this case. If they really wanted victim participation, the first step would be to "rescue," any victims, (which would prevent witness tampering) relocate them to a safe location, help them stabilize and coordinate legal matters very similar to what the U.S. Marshal Service in the United States does under the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC). It's my understanding that no such program exists within the ICC making it something that would need to be developed.
Neglecting to protect victim witnesses places the victim at high risk for retaliation which if occurs, could prevent a victim from willingly offering testimony in the future, that is if the victim is still alive to testify at all. "Witness tampering," plays a very harmful mental effect on a victim who has already been subject to horrible crimes in the first place. For example, besides myself, I know of one other women like me (expert witness) who refuses to help the US legal system at all due to the overwhelming amount of "harm for many years without equal and adequate protection under the law." While I don't have international statistics as proof, I'm sure other victims like us around the world feel the same way. Perhaps a research study in this area would be appropriate.
Re: "In the end, it's all about the case."
In my profession which is nursing, we take human life seriously. We aim to save lives rather than compiling a stack of papers together for a judge(s). I don't see the same philosophy within legal systems. Rather, I see prosecutors place evidence before suggestive evidence, or "murder," before "high risk for murder." How to change that way of thinking starts with you as it is completely beyond my comprehension of what I would call sane.
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