Victims’ rights in national transitional justice mechanisms
Mechanisms and Courts designed to prosecute international crimes such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) are only meant to be complementary to national systems and will in most cases only prosecute a handful of those alleged to be responsible for international crimes. The burden falls on domestic prosecution to ensure that there is no impunity gap. As a result, efforts to domesticate the Rome Statute and enable domestic legal systems to investigate and prosecute international crimes have received a significant amount of attention in recent years.
At the same time, there have been significant developments in international law recognising victims’ rights in criminal proceedings reflecting a shift from the traditional concept of the state’s interest in punishment and deterrence to the inclusion of victim’s interest in accessing and obtaining justice and the recognition of victims as right bearers. However, victims’ rights in domestic justice mechanisms dealing with international crimes has received little attention so far.
REDRESS strives to enhance the guarantee of victims’ rights in national transitional justice mechanisms, in particular criminal justice proceedings, by providing assistance to local partners representing victims in such processes.