Victim Participation in International Criminal Justice

This presentation critically examines the role, scope and implications of victims’ participation in international criminal proceedings, drawing from developments in human rights doctrine, victimology and transitional justice. The comprehensive analysis of the complex and multifaceted legal mechanism of victim participation is conducted primarily through the lens of the ECCC. The interpretation of victims’ participatory rights has been significantly diffuse and at times divergent, betraying a far from cohesive and consistent approach, and making the study of civil party participation a meaningful and instructive endeavour. Victim participation is still in its infancy in international criminal proceedings, and as such, the trials at the ECCC have appeared more as ‘experimenting laboratories’ than as processes guided by sound and well-crafted rules and procedures. The research argues that whilst the apparent benefits of participation seem self-evident, and may lead, at least in theory, to the realisation of the aspiration of restorative justice for victims, the manner in which civil party participation has been crafted and interpreted in the trials before the ECCC has raised some important issues and questions regarding its role and impact with respect to the functionality of court proceedings, the rights of the accused, and the rights of victims themselves.

Dr Rudina Jasini is an attorney and researcher specialising in international criminal law and human rights law. She is currently a Postdoctoral Global Fellow at New York University Law School Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and an ESRC GCRF Fellow at Oxford Law Faculty. Her doctoral research focused on the participation of victims of mass atrocities as civil parties in international criminal proceedings. Dr Jasini has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. She has taught tutorials in public international law at Oxford University. Prior to her time at Oxford, she worked for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague as a legal counsel on the defence team in the Haradinaj case. She also has extensive experience as a legal consultant with Impunity Watch and the Slynn Foundation. Dr Jasini is the recipient of numerous academic awards and author of several peer-reviewed articles on international justice. She has presented her work at various conferences and symposia. In April 2015, she was elected to be a member of the International Law Association Committee on Complementarity in International Criminal Law. Dr Jasini holds a DPhil (PhD) from Oxford University, an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Oxford, an LLM in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA in Law from the University of Tirana.