Victims and international criminal justice: a vexed question?

Despite the growing attention being paid to "victims" in the framework of criminal proceedings, this attention does not seem to be meeting their needs under either national criminal justice systems or the international regime. In the latter, the difficulties encountered by the victims are aggravated by factors specifically arising from prosecution and punishment of mass crimes at the international level. This has prompted authors to point out that the prime purpose of criminal law is to convict or acquit the accused, and to suggest that the task of attending to the victims should perhaps be left to other entities.

About the authors

Mina Rauschenbach
Forensic pathologist

Trained as a forensic pathologist and social psychologist, Mina Rauschenbach is a teaching assistant at the Centre d’étude, de technique et d’évaluation législatives, part of the law faculty at the University of Geneva. She is preparing a doctoral thesis in social psychology.

Damien Scalia
Teaching assistant

Teaching assistant at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He is currently working on a Ph.D. thesis.