Victims’ meaningful participation at the International Criminal Court: Legal aid reform

Open Letter
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Legal Representative of Victims Joseph Akwenyu Manoba closing statements at Ongwen trial at the ICC, March 2020. ©ICC-CPI

After previous attempts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and States Parties are in the process of reforming the Court’s Legal Aid Policy (LAP). On 18 October 2023, States Parties, ICC representatives, ICC counsel, and civil society, will meet at the ICC to discuss the different proposed reforms. In the run-up to this meeting, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Redress, and the Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice (WIGJ) sent a joint letter to States Parties and the ICC, highlighting key concerns and recommendations to make the LAP fair and effective for ICC victims and their counsel.

17 October 2023. This letter takes into account feedback from consulted Legal Representatives of Victims (LRVs), who play an essential role in ensuring victims’ views and concerns are heard and their rights protected, and sets out recommendations around the three following key issues:
 Ensuring Meaningful Participation During all Stages of the Proceedings;
 Victims’ Right to Choice of Counsel and Appointment of External Legal Counsel; and
 Ensuring the Court Adapts to Victims’ Interests, Not the Other Way Around.

Read the letter here.

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