The Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) provides innovative features giving effect to victims’ rights to access effective redress.
The ICC’s legal framework enables victims to participate in legal proceedings not just as witnesses for the prosecution, but as independent stakeholders with a recognised right to present their views and concerns.
Victims also have a right to physical and psychological protection and support. Another key feature is the opportunity for victims to seek reparation for damage, loss and harm suffered, and the availability of a specially designated Trust Fund for Victims.
After successfully advocating for these key provisions to be included in the core mandate of the ICC, REDRESS’ work has shifted focus to implementation:
We assist NGOs who work with victims of conflict to enable victims to engage with the ICC.
We provide regular advice and suggestions to ICC officials on the implementation of the Court’s victims’ mandate.
We intervene in cases before the ICC on points of law and provide regular commentary on proceedings, within our expertise.
REDRESS is working closely with civil society groups in many of the countries under scrutiny by the Court.
Our collaboration with such groups is intended to facilitate and enable the perspectives from the field to be taken on board by the ICC in The Hague, and to encourage the effective participation of victims in proceedings.
REDRESS also coordinates the Victims’ Rights Working Group (VRWG), a network of over 350 national and international civil society groups and experts created in 1997 under the auspices of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
The VRWG has evolved to include NGOs from many countries around the world including those countries most intimately affected by ICC proceedings. The VRWG and its member organisations continue to advocate on behalf of victims and to engage with the Court and the Assembly of States Parties, the forum for member States where the workings and future of the ICC are discussed and decided upon.