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A Practical Guide to Using International Human Rights and Criminal Law Procedures

Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

This book is a practical, experience-based guide for advocates seeking remedies for human rights violations through the use of international institutions. Since 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, mechanisms for addressing human rights violations have multiplied to include UN Charter based bodies, treaty-based organizations including the international criminal court, and regional institutions. Each mechanism has its own admissibility requirements: accreditation, timeliness of claims, and exhaustion of remedies. For practitioners, the maze of rules and institutions can be difficult to navigate. This book offers step-by-step approaches for maximizing the institutions’ intended effect–promotion of human rights at all levels.
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Chapter 3: Advocacy at the International Criminal Court

Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza


Chapter 3 is a practical guide to advocacy at the International Criminal Court. It is divided into two parts: (1) advocacy within the litigation context, primarily on behalf of victims; and (2) work outside the litigation framework. The first part primarily focuses on victim advocacy, including: attaining counsel status; group versus individual representation; victim participation before and during trial; appeals; sentencing, and reparations. This first, litigation-oriented part also describes promoting prosecutions or investigations through the so-called ‘Article 15’ process and filing amicus curiae briefs in active cases. The second part of the chapter looks outside the courtroom. It offers instruction on conducting fieldwork, including locating victims/witnesses and connecting them to the ICC and counsel, and helping enable reparations. The chapter concludes with a primer on participating in the annual meeting of the ICC’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties.

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