Research Proposal Topic: Command Responsibility: Balancing the Rights of the Accused and Victims’ Rights in International Law Introduction The right to a fair trial is firmly entrenched in a majority of state laws and is thus encapsulated in international customary law under the doctrine of opinion juris.1 The right to a fair trial is codified by Article 14 of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1976 (ICCPR).2 The right to a fair trial includes the presumption of innocence, the right to be present at the trial, the right to heard by a fair and impartial tribunal of fact and the right to a trial “without undue delay”.3 Other rights include the right to suffici…
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The logic behind the right to a fair trial was implicit in the creation of complicity under the doctrine of command responsibility. Justice Robert Jackson in his opening statement at the Nuremberg Trials essentially reasoned that the International Military Tribunal would confer upon the accused persons, the due process that they refused to confer upon their victims.6 The right to a fair trial is not absolute however, as there are circumstances where that right may be “derogated from in certain circumstances”.7 This paper focuses on the recent trends in international criminal law in which there is an initiative for balancing the rights of the accused against victims’ rights under the doctrine of command responsibility. ...
ce of the charges against him/her.8 The initiative to elevate the rights of victims over the right of the accused was a method by which the International Criminal Court addressed concerns on the part of civilians in zones under conflict and non-governmental organizations. These concerns took the position that the ad hoc international criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda had neglected the input of victims by not permitting their participation in the trials and the appellate process. The International Criminal Tribunal addressed those concerns by making the concerns of victims a priority and by focusing more intently on restorative justice.9 The International Criminal Court is primarily founded on the objective that the administration of justice means justice not only for those who commit international crimes, but also for the victims.10 The Preamble to the ICC informs that: During this century millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.11 Trumbull notes that the reference to victims in the ICC’s preamble is not an accident. In fact, Trumbull goes farther to state, that this reference to victims was intentional and aimed at ensuring that the rights of victims occupy a “high priority”.12 Under the authority of the ICC, the International Criminal Court has made good on the prioritizing of victims’ rights primarily by permitting victims the right to participate in the criminal proceedings. In this regard, victims have the right to express their opinions relative to the authorization of an investigation, whether or not a case is admissible and any other matter that impacts their own interests.13 The ICC and the International Court, Rules of Procedure and Evidence 2000 contain a
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5 Pages(1250 words)Dissertation
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