Victims’ Participation in the Investigations of the International Criminal Court.pdf

Susana SaCouto


INTRODUCTION: On January 17, 2006, Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I) issued the first decision' of the International Criminal Court (ICC) interpreting and implementing the ground-breaking provisions of the Rome Statute, which allow for victims to participate in the Court's proceedings. The decision arose in the context of the "situation" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and specifically involved the applications of six victims who expressed their desire to "participate in the proceedings, be it at the investigation, trial or sentencing stage." Upon receiving the applications, Pre-Trial Chamber I determined that the applicants' request raised the question of whether Article 68(3) of the Rome Statute-which is the general provision governing 1 Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Case No. ICC-01/04, Decision on the Applications for Participation in the Proceedings of VPRS 1, VPRS 2, VPRS 3, VPRS 4, VPRS 5 and VPRS 6 (Pre-Trial Chamber I, Jan. 17, 2006) [hereinafter Situation in DRC, PTC I, Jan. 17, 20061.