Victims at the Prospective International Criminal Law Section of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights
Article by Postdoctoral Fellow Juan Pablo Pérez León Acevedo in the International Criminal Law Review Vol. 17(3).
The introduction of an International Criminal Law Section (ICLS) to the prospective African Union (AU) African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACJHR) has sparked academic debate. However, discussion of victims’ status at the ACJHR-ICLS has been neglected. Victims’ status as participants and reparation claimants, as provided for in the ACJHR Statute, is critically analysed. There are important gaps and limitations, especially concerning the victim participant status, and implementation challenges, particularly regarding the reparation claimant status. Recommendations to address normative problems and face future challenges are provided. The amended ACJHR-ICLS Statute is comparatively tested against inter alia the legal framework and practice of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC Statute is relevant because the ACJHR Statute provisions on victims largely borrow from it. Additionally, despite some deficits, the ICC Statute and practice arguably constitute guiding standards to tackle complex victim-related issues at international/hybrid criminal tribunals (IHCTs).