12 Eyes on the ICC 51 (2016-2017)
Assessing Victim's Contribution to the Determination of the Truth in the Bemba Case

handle is hein.journals/eyesicc12 and id is 58 raw text is: 


ASSESSING VICTIMS' CONTRIBUTION TO THE
DETERMINATION OF THE TRUTH IN THE BEMBA CASE

Mlanie   Vianney-Liaud*  and Carine Pineau**

    The Bemba  case has been a case of 'firsts in many regards. For
    the first time at the International Criminal Court, a military com-
    mander  was found  guilty for sexual crimes committed by soldiers
    under his command.  Furthermore,  more  than 5,000 victims par-
    ticipated at trial to expose their views and concerns. As new ac-
    tors in the international criminal proceedings, never before had
    such a number  of victims been authorized to actively take part in
    a case. This article sheds light on the genuine role and undoubted
    impact of victim participation in Bemba's trial. Based on the ju-
    risprudence of the ICC, the article analyzes to what extent the le-
    galframework   of the Court enabled the Trial Chamber, guardian
    of the fairness of the procedure, to ensure a meaningful contribu-
    tion of victims while preserving the rights of the accused. Despite
    regular criticisms on the alleged prejudices caused by victim par-
    ticipation, this article demonstrates how the Judges successfully
    balanced the victims' rights with the necessity to guarantee a fair
    trial. This study also highlights the substantial input of the vic-
    tims to the case. Their role was not limited to exposing the per-
    sonal harm  undergone  as a result of the crimes. Victims also ef-
    fectively contributed to the determination of the truth in challeng-
    ing and leading relevant evidence regarding the scope of the case
    and Bemba's  liability, therefore giving an added value to their
    voices in international criminal law.

    Keywords:  International Criminal Court, Victim Participation,
    Views and Concerns, Prosecutor  v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

I. INTRODUCTION
   he case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo before the In-
       ternational Criminal Court (ICC) has been a case of firsts in many
       regards. It is the first command responsibility case, as well as the first
case involving conviction for sexual violence at the ICC. Furthermore, it is
the first time that so many victims have been allowed to participate in inter-
national criminal proceedings, with direct and broad participatory rights.'
Article 68(3) provides that:


* M61anie Vianney-Liaud is a Ph.D. candidate in international law at Aix-Marseille University
III, France. In 2015 and 2016, she worked as a Legal Assistant to the Legal Representative of
Victims in the Bemba case at the International Criminal Court.
** Carine Pineau holds a Ph.D. in international law from Aix-Marseille University III, France.
From 2011 to 2015, she worked as a Legal Assistant to the Legal Representatives of Victims in
the Bemba case at the International Criminal Court.
    I Victims have long suffered from their invisibility in international criminal proceedings.
At the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), victims were left behind and their role was limited to
being prosecution witnesses. The situation continued until the creation of internationalized

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