Requirements for Victim Participation

  • Heloise DumontEmail author
Part of the International Criminal Justice Series book series (ICJS, volume 11)


Being recognised as a participating victim at the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), or as a civil party at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) carries with it a procedural role that is unprecedented in other international jurisdictions. It is therefore unsurprising that the admission of victims to that status has itself been the subject of much jurisprudence. This is particularly true at the ICC, which, in its more than 10 years of existence, has accumulated a considerable amount of jurisprudence on the standards applied regarding who may qualify to participate in the proceedings. The three courts have each adopted a legal definition of who is a ‘victim’ for the purpose of participation as well as other rules on the requirements that an application for participation or an application to be a civil party must satisfy. The interpretation of these rules and the context in which judges and chambers have applied them have either enabled or limited participation. This chapter aims at describing the different requirements that judges and chambers of the ICC, STL and ECCC have so far applied when deciding on victims’ applications to participate, having in mind the practical implications and challenges this has for a practitioner who assists a victim in this process. It thus describes who may be considered as a victim as per the definition of the courts and what information and documents should be submitted in an application to enable the relevant decision-makers to determine an application.


Application form Harm Identity documents Proof of victimisation Direct and indirect victims Persons acting on behalf of victims Deceased victims Causation of harm Standard of review 


  1. Pham PN, Vinck P, Balthazard M, Strasser J, Om C (2011) Victim participation and the trial of Duch at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. J Hum Rights Pract 3:264–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. United Nations General Assembly (1985) Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, UN Doc. A/RES/40/34 (1985)Google Scholar
  3. United Nations General Assembly (2006) Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, UN Doc. A/RES/60/147 (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Criminal CourtThe HagueThe Netherlands

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