The Rights of Victims in Criminal Justice Proceedings for Serious Human Rights Violations
"The Rights of Victims in Criminal Justice Proceedings for Serious Human Rights Violations" Excerpt of a monograph published by Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2013, ISBN 9789004212152. (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2013).
16 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2016 Last revised: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 20, 2013
This monograph analyzes the right to access to justice under international law of victims of human rights violations, paying special attention to this right in criminal proceedings before national, international and hybrid tribunals. In particular, the book reflects on the following question: Should victims of these infringements be granted under international law the rights of access to and participation in criminal proceedings before such tribunals?
The work applies a thorough analysis of international and comparative domestic law and practice to this question, taking into account a host of international human rights instruments and case law, the theory, law and practice of international and hybrid criminal tribunals, the law and practice in several domestic jurisdictions, and many theoretical and empirical studies.
After first determining the current state of, and emerging trends in, international law and in the common law and the civil law tradition in this area, the monograph argues that the lack of recognition, under customary international law, of the rights of access to and participation in criminal proceedings for victims of these violations is inadequate, because these rights are based on several internationally recognized human rights and principles, contribute to the expressivist objectives of these proceedings, and are consistent with the principles that inform the enforcement of criminal law in democratic States.
The book also identifies in chapters 4 and 5 which specific victim rights arise from victim access to and participation in criminal proceedings as understood in the book,
More broadly, the work assesses the contribution of prosecution initiatives, and victims' procedural rights therein, to strategies to address mass serious human rights violations and to peacebuilding efforts. Lastly and on the basis of the analysis made, the book convincingly suggests concrete reforms.
By so doing, the monograph fills the various gaps that exist in the current literature in the topic. The latter by and large limits itself to examining, mostly from a positivistic perspective, victim access to and participation in international criminal proceedings, particularly before the International Criminal Court, or before domestic courts covering only common law jurisdictions.
Keywords: access to justice, victims rights, human rights, comparative criminal law, victim participation
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