The International Criminal Court (the “ICC”) results from the adoption of the Rome Statute by the diplomatic conference organized by the United Nations on 17 July 1998 which entered into force the 1st July 2002 after the 60th ratification, whose mission would be to punish the most heinous of all crimes: crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The ICC is the only existing international court today whose jurisdiction is targeted towards individuals who have committed the most serious crimes, affecting the whole international community. One of the unique aspects of the International Criminal Court (ICC) compared to other international criminal tribunals is the element of victim participation. (Cambridge University Press, 2010, New York). From now on, victims will play a key role in the international justice system.
The legal instruments of the Court, however, are not explicit in detailing the modalities of victims’ participation in the said proceedings. The first proceedings before the Court have shown how complex this legal framework is and that effective participation of victims in proceedings depends mainly upon the interpretation of the provisions of the legal texts by the Chambers.