International Criminal Procedure

International Criminal Procedure

The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems

Edited by Linda Carter and Fausto Pocar

The emergence of international criminal courts, beginning with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and including the International Criminal Court, has also brought an evolving international criminal procedure. In this book, the authors examine selected issues that reflect a blending of, or choice between, civil law and common law models of procedure. The topics include background on civil law and common law legal systems; plea bargaining; witness proofing; written and oral evidence; self-representation and the use of assigned, standby, and amicus counsel; the role of victims; and the right to appeal.

Chapter 6: The role of victims

Sigall Horovitz

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, public international law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


This chapter addresses the role of victims in proceedings before international criminal tribunals. It mainly focuses on the relevant practices of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first international criminal tribunal to allow victims to actively participate in criminal proceedings. Occasionally, references will be made to the approaches of other international criminal tribunals, especially where they differ from that of the ICC. The chapter will not discuss the right of victims to receive reparations, which the ICC grants them separately from the right to participate in proceedings. While the ICC is the first international tribunal to grant victims an active role in its proceedings, this approach is not uncommon in national jurisdictions that follow the civil law tradition. For example, in France, victims can become “civil parties” to the proceedings by attaching their civil claim for compensation to the criminal proceedings against the accused. Similar types of “adhesion” procedures are available in most other European states. These jurisdictions allow victims to bring accusations against their perpetrators, receive legal representation during the criminal process, and obtain reparations through criminal prosecutions.

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