Theorizing the International Criminal Court’s Model of Justice: The Victims’ Court?

Published date01 April 2019
Date01 April 2019
Subject MatterArticles
Theorizing the
International Criminal
Court’s Model of Justice:
The Victims’ Court?
Isha Jain1
Theoretical models of criminal justice are important tools for identifying the
value systems that underpin the various criminal justice systems of the world.
Hailed as the ‘victims’ court’ for conferring wide-ranging participatory rights to
victims at all stages of the criminal process, the International Criminal Court
and its constitutive treaty, the Rome Statute, offer an interesting subject matter
of analysis from this theoretical standpoint. The focus of this article will be on
studying the ICC’s practice and procedure in relation to victim participation, in
order to identify the values of criminal justice that influence these processes.
Criminal justice, International Criminal Court, theoretical models, value systems
The International Criminal Court (‘ICC’) was established in 2002 with the ambi-
tious goal of distinguishing itself from the international criminal tribunals of the
twentieth century by adopting a victim-centric approach to criminal justice. In the
15 years since, the success of the ICC in fulfilling this mandate, as well as the
merits of victim-centrism itself, have been the subject of much debate and discus-
sion. The existing literature on the subject tends to focus on tracing the interpreta-
tion and application of victim participation rights by the Court.
However, there is a marked absence of attempts to locate the ICC’s model of
victim participation within a theoretical framework of criminal justice. In this
regard, the aim of this article is to assess the practices and procedures of the ICC
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
2(1) 1–10, 2019
2019 National Law
University Delhi
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/2516606918825009
1 National Law School of India University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Corresponding author:
Isha Jain, National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore, Karnataka 560072, India.

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