FIDH Comments on the draft ICC Victims’ Strategy

FIDH issues its comments on the latest draft of the ICC Victims’ Strategy.

The International Federation for Human Rights (“FIDH”) is pleased to comment on the latest draft of the International Criminal Court’s (“ICC” or “Court”) Victims’ Strategy, which was circulated for consultation in late September 2009. We note that the time allocated for consultation is very limited and, therefore, these preliminary comments will focus on the most relevant portions of the
document which have come to the attention of FIDH. These comments focus exclusively on the main document. Given the limited time, we have been unable to consider the updated version of the annex. We might send in further comments later on, should such an opportunity arise in the future.

Some of these comments will be shared with States Parties in the context of the discussions around the Victims’ Strategy within the Hague Working Group and the Assembly of States Parties.

FIDH has followed the development of the Victims’ Strategy since the adoption of Resolution ASP/ 5/Res.2 in late 2006. We contributed greatly to the comments provided by the Victims Rights’Working Group prior to the drafting of the strategy, as well as after the first draft of the document was issued.

FIDH notes with satisfaction that the latest version of the document represents a major improvement with regard to the first draft. We have noted, in particular, that specific objectives have been set, as opposed to the description of current activities featured in the first draft. FIDH was particularly satisfied to read the introductory paragraphs which recognise that the ICC also has a restorative function and that “positive engagement with victims can have a significant effect on how victims experience and perceive justice”, as well as the broad principles (pages 3 and 4) which, in our view, set out a framework for the interpretation and implementation of the strategy.

We would also like to acknowledge the major coordination efforts among the different organs of the Court, as well as the different sections and divisions within the Registry, which the drafting of this document has implied. It is equally fair to take note of the important commitments made with regard to policies to be developed on intermediaries and psychological support to victims.

The comments set out hereinafter are provided in a spirit of constructive criticism and with a view to further contributing to the Court’s process of setting out a strategy for victims which is fully respectful of the Rome Statute and the rights of victims under Public International Law.

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