|After the successful completion of this course, the students should be able to:
- Discuss the concepts and status of “victim” and “victim participation” in criminal proceedings across domestic, regional, and international criminal courts and tribunals;
- Be able to mention the victims’ rights codified in European and international legal instruments (e.g., respect, information, support, participation, compensation, protection);
- Critically assess the added value of victims’ participation in domestic, regional, and international criminal proceedings;
- Discuss the different positions victims have in international criminal proceedings, including their inherent advantages and challenges across international criminal courts and tribunals;
- Have a thorough understanding of the value of cultural theories and perspectives in the study of law
- Have a clear understanding of and insight in the correlations between victimization and vulnerability
- Have a clear understanding and insight in how the different aspects of vulnerability of different groups are intertwined
- Critically assess the role of all parties and stakeholders (states, courts, civil society) in the manner victims’ participation is implemented in practice.
This interdisciplinary course is taught by scholars with a background in (international) criminal law, european law, and transitional justice. The course aims to introduce students to the field of victimology with a particular focus on the standing of victims in various domestic, regional, and international criminal proceedings. |
For long, criminal investigation and proceedings mainly revolved around the suspect or defendant and the prosecution, with victims being characterized as ‘the forgotten party’ whose only role was to function as a witness and informant. Since the 1980s, victims have emancipated and various national and international legal instruments were adopted with the aim of improving their position in criminal proceedings. Victims were, for instance, awarded participation and reparation rights, but also rights that aimed to increase their protection against the offender and violations of their privacy.
The course will discuss the manner in which victims’ rights have been implemented in domestic and regional systems; introduce key principles and developments in International Criminal Law & Procedure. Students will be encouraged to consider the added value of victims’ participation in (international) criminal justice through appreciating victims’ role in criminal proceedings, their advantages and challenges. We will focus on the victims’ status as witnesses, participants/civil parties, and reparation claimants under a comparative lens across nationa, regiona, international and hybrid criminal courts and tribunals;. The course will also introduce students to the conceptual and operational definitions of victimization and vulnerability. Several theoretical concepts will be discussed in an attempt to explore how different social and/or cultural categories, such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and nationality may be relevant in explaining the vulnerability of different groups.
The objectives of this course are to familiarize the students with the changing role of victims in national and international criminal justice systems, to acquaint them with the most important victims’ rights, to distinguish the different roles victims can have in domestic and international criminal proceedings, and to uncover what cultural issues arise with regard to the (changing) roles of victims in national and international criminal justice.