Victims

Victims are those who have suffered harm as a result of the commission of any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

Victims may include individual people, but also organizations or institutions that have sustained direct harm to any of their property which is dedicated to religion, education, art or science or charitable purposes, and to their historic monuments, hospitals and other places and objects for humanitarian purposes. See Rules of Procedure and Evidence, rules 85 and 86.  

Relevant Court staff are trained to work with victims and address their specific needs, particularly children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities and victims of sexual or gender violence.

Situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela I

Información para víctimas

On 18 November 2022, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued an Order inviting observations and views and concerns of victims by which it:

  1. invited victims and their legal representatives to submit their views and concerns on the ICC Prosecutor’s Request under Article 18(2) to resume the investigation into the Venezuela I Situation (“Prosecutor’s Request”);

  2. instructed the Victims Participation and Reparations Section of the Registry (“VPRS”) to collect victims’ views and concerns and to transmit them to the Chamber, together with a report, by 21 March 2023 at the latest;

  3. invited Venezuela to provide observations on the Prosecutor Request by 28 February 2023 at the latest; and

  4. instructed the Prosecutor to submit a response, if any, to the observations of Venezuela, within three weeks after the notification of these observations, or by 21 March 2023 at the latest.

What is the status and scope of the ICC Prosecutor’s intended investigation into the Venezuela I Situation? 

On 3 November 2021, the ICC Prosecutor opened the investigation into the Venezuela I Situation further to a referral submitted by a group of States Parties on 27 September 2018. The overall scope of the Venezuela I Situation and of the Prosecutor’s intended investigation encompasses any conduct amounting to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC that are alleged to have been committed in Venezuela since 12 February 2014. The Prosecutor specifically focuses on crimes against humanity of imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty pursuant to article 7(1)(e); torture pursuant to article 7(1)(f); rape and/or other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity pursuant to article 7(1)(g); and persecution on political grounds against persons held in detention pursuant to article 7(1)(h) allegedly committed by members of the State security forces, civilian authorities and pro-government individuals (so-called colectivos), since at least April 2017.

In the OTP Request, the Prosecutor focuses its analysis on the crimes against humanity of imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty pursuant to article 7(1)(e); torture pursuant to article 7(1)(f); rape and/or other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity pursuant to article 7(1)(g); and persecution on political grounds against persons held in detention pursuant to article 7(1)(h) allegedly committed, since at least April 2017, by members of the State security forces, civilian authorities and pro-government individuals (colectivos).

Who is considered a “victim” before the ICC?

According to rule 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC, victims are persons who have suffered harm – to themselves or to their close family members – as a result of any crime within the ICC’s jurisdiction. This harm can include physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of fundamental rights.

Victims may also include organisations and institutions when their property dedicated to certain purposes (religion, education, art or science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments and hospitals) is harmed as a result of a crime in the ICC’s jurisdiction.

What can victims do now?

  • Victims are  invited to provide their views or concerns related to the Prosecutor Request only (i.e. on whether they believe the ICC Prosecutor should be authorized to resume its investigation in the Venezuela I situation, and importantly, why they believe so);

  • Any views or concerns by victims on the Prosecutor Request to resume its investigation should be provided to the VPRS as soon as possible, as they will be transmitted to the ICC Judges on a rolling basis. The deadline for victims to submit views and concerns is 7 March 2023.The VPRS will submit its final consolidated report on victims’ views and concerns on the Prosecutor’s request on 21 March 2023.

  • At this stage of the proceedings victims do not need to be represented by lawyers. Lawyers who want to assist victims in sharing their views and concerns with the ICC Judges are not entitled to legal aid before the ICC (i.e. they will not be remunerated for their efforts by the ICC). At this stage of the proceedings, the Pre-Trial Chamber has not and will not take a decision on (common) legal representation of victims.

How can victims provide their views and concerns to the ICC Judges?

  • If individuals or organizations have been affected by crimes within the ICC jurisdiction, they can fill in the form for submitting victims’ views on the Prosecutor’s Request, or have a representative do it for them. Victims can choose, in the blue box below, either:

    • The online form: No need to download. The form can be filled in online, a signature box can be ticked (no physical signature is required) and the form can be submitted directly through the ICC website. No attachments need to be submitted. The notification of successful submission is automatic.

    • Alternatively: The flat PDF form: download, print, sign and return the form via postal mail or email (see contact information below)

Online Application Form

EnglishEspañol

 
Application Form (PDF)

EnglishEspañol

Application Form (fillable PDF)

EnglishEspañol

 
Application Form guidelines

English, Español

  • Victims who prefer to send their views and concerns through an alternative secure channel, can contact the VPRS at [email protected];

  • Forms can be submitted by individual victims or by groups of victims (i.e.  families; groups of women; groups of detainees). It is important to fill in only one form per victim or per group of victims, in order to avoid duplication;

  • Victims’ views and concerns may be submitted in other formats, e.g. video and audio. However, it is important that they contain the information requested in the template form. Victims should be concise and, to the extent possible, ensure that the duration of the audio or video recording is less than 10 minutes;

  • Before completing the form, victims are asked to read carefully the detailed  guidelines on how to fill in the template form, available in English and Spanish in the blue box below.

  • The ICC’s working languages are English and French. There is limited capacity to translate documents from Spanish to English or French. Therefore, victims who are able to fill in the form in English or French are encouraged to do so to avoid any translation delays. Those victims choosing to use audio or video, should use English or French if possible, or may want to include consecutive translation or subtitles into the working languages of the Court. This will considerably reduce the time taken to process the information submitted by victims.

  • VPRS is part of the Registry of the ICC, which is a neutral organ separate from the Office of the Prosecutor, the Defence or the Judges. Also, VPRS is a different section than the Office of Public Counsel for Victims (OPCV). VPRS is not representing victims in legal proceedings; VPRS has been mandated by the Pre-Trial Chamber to collect the views and concerns of the victims on a potential resumption of the Prosecutor’s investigation in Venezuela and send them to the Judges.

  • Providing views and concerns to the ICC Judges is not the same as testifying or giving evidence as a witness. The views and concerns of victims are not considered evidence in proceedings and victims to not need to prove the harm suffered and they are not requested to present any evidence/information on the alleges crimes themselves (i.e. victims do not need to send to the VPRS medical, financial or other type of documents showing the extent of the crimes and harm).

  • The ICC manages its interactions with victims in a manner aimed at limiting any risk to victims and to others, and handles information received from victims in a strictly confidential manner. This means, for example, that the VPRS registers the information provided in a secure database to which only authorised staff of the Court have access. The victim forms will only be transmitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber; no other entity will be given access to the forms; the Government of Venezuela will not have access to the victims’ forms.

  • The security of victims and those assisting them comes first. Victims should not take any risks and they should not mention publicly their interaction with the Court as confidentiality and discretion are the best way to protect them at this stage of proceedings.

Victims can contact the VPRS to provide their views or to ask any questions or seek any assistance on this process, at [email protected].

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE ICC

The Court’s Structure

The Court is composed of four organs: (i) the Presidency; (ii) Chambers (Appeals Division, Trial Division, Pre-Trial Division); (iii) the Office of the Prosecutor; and (iv) the Registry. The Office of the Prosecutor acts independently as a separate organ. The Registry is composed of many sections, including the Victims Participation and Reparation Section, the Office of Public Counsel for victims and the Victims and Witnesses Unit.

The Court’s Jurisdiction

The general mission of the ICC is to investigate and, where warranted, prosecute individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. The Court is participating in a global fight to end impunity, and through international criminal justice, the ICC aims to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.

The ICC does not prosecute States, Governments or political parties. It can only investigate and prosecute natural persons of 18 years of age or above. Its mandate is to investigate and, where warranted, prosecute individuals for their alleged individual criminal responsibility for mass crimes which fall under the ICC jurisdiction.

The Principle of Complementarity

The principle of complementarity is one of the main pillars for the Court’s operation. If a State which has jurisdiction over the situation/case investigates, prosecutes and tries the same person for substantially the same conduct, then the ICC shall defer to the domestic judicial authorities, provided that the State is not unwilling and/or unable to genuinely carry out the proceedings.

Cooperation

The Court does not have police or executive forces who implement the Court’s decisions and orders (such as a warrant of arrest). The ICC is dependent on the States Parties to cooperate fully with the Court. The Court may also invite any State not party to the Rome Statute to provide assistance to the Court. 

For further general information on the structure and functioning of the Court, as well as on the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC please click here.

Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

On 22 November 2022, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) filed its appeal brief against Pre-Trial Chamber’s II Decision pursuant to article 18(2) of the Statute authorising the Prosecution to resume investigation issued on 31 October 2022 (“Decision”). The OTP appealed paragraph 59 of Pre-Trial Chamber II’s Decision which authorised the resumption of the Court’s investigation in Afghanistan only with respect to “the crimes [and parties] falling within the situation and the conflict, as it existed at the time of the decision authorising the investigation and based on the request to open it”. The OTP requested the Appeals Chamber to correct the alleged errors identified, reverse and amend paragraph 59 of the Decision and confirm the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction in this situation in the terms previously articulated by the Appeals Chamber in the Afghanistan Appeal Judgment.  In said Judgment, the Appeals Chamber ruled that “the pre-trial chamber’s authorisation of an investigation should not be restricted to the incidents specifically mentioned in the Prosecutor’s request under article 15(3) of the Statute and incidents that are ‘closely linked’ to those incidents” (para. 2). In its Judgment, the Appeals Chamber also authorised the ICC Prosecutor to commence an investigation in relation to alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan in the period since 1 May 2003, as well as other alleged crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan and are sufficiently linked to the situation and were committed on the territory of other States Parties in the period since 1 July 2002 (para. 79).

On 23 November 2022, the Appeals Chamber appointed Judge Piotr Hofmański as Presiding Judge in the present appeal and issued an order on the conduct of the appeal proceedings. Noting that in its previous appeals in the Afghanistan Situation victims participated pursuant to rules 50(3) and 93 of the Rules and Procedure and Evidence (RPE) and that the impugned decision, the notice of appeal and the appeal brief have not been notified to the legal representatives of victims, the Appeals Chamber: i) directed the Registrar to notify filings ICC-02/17-196, ICC-02/17-197, ICC-02/17-198, and unless otherwise provided, any further filing in this situation, to the legal representatives of victims identified on page 2 of the order, and to register their filings on the record; ii) invited participating victims and other victims who participate pursuant to rule 93 RPE to file responses - that shall not exceed 20 pages - to the appeal brief, by 16h00 on 15 December 2022; and iii) invited the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to file responses to the appeal brief not exceeding 20 pages by 16h00 on 15 December 2022.

Please contact the VPRS for any any queries or assistance needed on this matter, at: [email protected].

Unrepresented victims can also contact the Office for Public Counsel for Victims at:

Office of Public Counsel for Victims

Tel: +31(0) 70 515 8515 | +31 (0)70 515 8108

Fax: +31(0) 70 515 85 67

E-mail: [email protected] and/or [email protected]

Information for victims - Mokom case 

On 14 March 2022, Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka was surrendered to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in various locations in the Central African Republic, including Bangui, Bossangoa, Lobaye Préfecture, Yaloké, Gaga, Bossemptélé, Boda, Carnot and Berberati, between at least 5 December 2013 and at least December 2014. Mr Mokom’s surrender follows a warrant of arrest issued under seal on 10 December 2018 by Pre-Trial Chamber II (“Chamber”) with a public redacted version issued on 22 March 2022 (“Warrant of Arrest”).

On 22 March 2022, Mr Mokom came before the Chamber for the initial appearance hearing (this hearing is held in the presence of both the counsel for the person charged and the Prosecutor). After confirming the suspect’s identity and informing him of the charges against him, the Chamber scheduled 31 January 2023 as the provisional date for the opening of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka (“Mokom case”).

The Victims Participation and Reparations Section (with the initialism “SPVR” in French and “VPRS” in English), which is part of the Registry, is responsible for assisting victims when they are applying for participation in proceedings and requesting reparations in the event that the suspect is charged and subsequently convicted. The Section may also assist the victims and the Chamber in organizing appropriate legal representation for victims during the proceedings.

On 27 June 2022, the Chamber issued an order setting out, among other information, the principles and procedures governing victims’ participation in the Mokom case, and, specifically, approving the use of a joint application form for participation and/or reparations for the Mokom case (see links below to access the form and instructions on how to complete it).

The VPRS has now begun the process of collecting application forms for victims’ participation and/or reparations.

Victims who have suffered harm as a result of one of the crimes being prosecuted in relation to the Mokom case (see Warrant of Arrest) may apply to participate in the confirmation of charges hearing before the ICC. They may be either individuals or organizations/institutions. 

  • Individuals who have suffered direct or indirect harm as a result of one of the crimes being prosecuted in relation to the Mokom case (see Warrant of Arrest) should use the application form for participation for individuals and follow the instructions on how to complete this form (available by clicking on the corresponding links in the box below).
  • Organizations or institutions, when their property dedicated to certain purposes (religion, education, art, science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments or hospitals) is harmed, should use the application form for participation for organizations and follow the instructions on how to complete this form (available by clicking on the corresponding links in the box below). Only duly authorized representatives of an organization or institution may complete the application form.

Application forms 

Application for participation and/or reparations for individuals

Application for participation and/or reparations for organizations/institutions

  • Instructions on how to complete the form: English, French
  • Application form for participation for organizations/institutions
    o    PDF version: English, French
    o    Editable PDF version: English, French

    Victim’s booklet

    English, French

    When to submit the application form to the ICC: 
    The application forms can be submitted to the VPRS at any time. However, please note that the Chamber has ordered the VPRS to send it the applications for participation and/or reparations no later than 30 and 15 days (as the case may be) before the start of the confirmation of charges hearing.
    To ensure that the VPRS receives and processes the applications for participation and/or reparations in good time before this date, we would urge you to submit your form to us as soon as possible, preferably before 1 November 2022. Applications received after this date will be examined, but the applicants may not be able to participate in the proceedings from as soon as the confirmation of charges hearing. If you have any questions about the timings, please get in contact with the VPRS.
     

    Before taking any action, interested persons are advised to contact the VPRS at the following address: [email protected] or on the local number: +236 72303402. The VPRS will be able to provide information and advice on victim participation in proceedings before the Court, the current proceedings and the various phases that will follow.

    Please note that the application form for participation and/or reparations is NOT meant to serve as a form for providing evidence. The collection of evidence is not a matter for the VPRS but for the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC (“OTP”). The Office of the Prosecutor generally receives all relevant information that may be considered as evidence concerning crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.

    The safety of victims is fundamental. It is therefore important to take preventive measures such as not mentioning their involvement or interaction with the ICC to others or in public. It is also important to avoid actions that could expose the victims themselves or others to danger (e.g. talking to the media, posting on social media etc., which could reveal their interaction with the ICC).

    For further information concerning victims, please click here.

    Victim participation in the Abd-Al-Rahman case (last updated on 6/8/2021)

    • Stage of the proceedings

    Mr Abd-Al-Rahman was transferred to the ICC's custody on 9 June 2020, after surrendering himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic. The confirmation of charges hearing was held before Pre-Trial Chamber II from 24 to 26 May 2021.

    On 9 July 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber II issued a decision confirming all the charges brought against Mr Abd-Al-Rahman ("Decision confirming the charges" (ICC-02/05-01/20-433), and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber. The Presidency of the Court has decided, on 21 July 2021, to refer the case to the newly constituted Trial Chamber I, composed of Judge Reine Alapini-Gansou, Judge Joanna Korner and Judge Althea Violet Alexis-Windsor ("Decision constituting Trial Chamber I and referring to it the case of The Prosecutor v. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ('Ali Kushayb')", ICC-02/05-01/20-440). A date for the commencement of the trial has not yet been issued.

    Can the Decision on Confirmation of Charges be reviewed ?

    Yes, the decision confirming the charges can be appealed by the parties with the authorisation of Pre-Trial Chamber II. The time limit for filing an application for leave to appeal this decision will start after its translation into Arabic is notified by the Registry. Once the decision is translated, the parties will have 5 days to present to the judges the reasons why they want to challenge the decision.

    •   Victims' participation

    Victims may participate at the trial stage in the case if they suffered crimes for which Mr Abd-Al-Rahman is accused. This is subject to relevant decisions by the Chamber upon the Registry's submission of victims' applications.

    The Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the Registry is responsible for assisting victims in the process of applying for participation in proceedings, and for reparations in case of a conviction. Victim applicants can send application forms for participation and/or reparations to the VPRS at any time.

    1. Individuals, organizations and institutions can be victims

    - Individual persons who have suffered direct or indirect personal harm as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming the charges.  Individual victims should apply by completing the application form for participation for individuals (available in English, French, and Arabic along with guidelines on how to fill in forms in English, French, and Arabic);

    - Organizations or institutions, when their property dedicated to certain purposes (religion, education, art, science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments or hospitals) is directly harmed as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges. Organizations and institutions should apply for participation by using the application form for participation for organizations available in English and French along with guidelines in how to fill in forms in English and French). Only duly authorized representatives of an organization or institution may complete the application form.

    2. Who suffered harm from crimes for which Mr. Abd-Al-Rahman is accused (crimes outlined in the Decision confirming the charges) :

    Pre-Trial Chamber II found that there are substantial grounds to believe that Mr Abd-Al-Rahman is responsible for 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed between August 2003 and at least April 2004, in Kodoom (between 15 August and 16 August 2003), Bindisi (between 15 August and 16 August 2003), Mukjar (between late February and early March 2003) and Deleig  (between 5 and 7 March 2004), in Darfur, Sudan.

    • Other relevant information

    If you are interested in applying to participate in the proceedings as a victim of the alleged crimes listed above, please contact the VPRS at  [email protected].


    The application form for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations should be ideally filled in with the assistance of persons who have been specially trained by the VPRS, to ensure that the forms are complete and that all the information necessary at this stage is provided. The participation of victims in proceedings is voluntary and the process of applying - including all relevant application forms and information materials - is free of charge. Please contact the VPRS at the above address for assistance.

     

    Please note that the purpose of the application form for participation in the proceedings and for reparations is NOT to provide evidence. The collection of evidence is not within the mandate of the VPRS, but that of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). The OTP generally receives any relevant information that may be considered as evidence relating to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC at: [email protected], at any time.

    • Other relevant documents related to the Victim application process

    Application Form for Individuals (PDF)

    English, Français, العربية

    Application Form for Individuals (fillable PDF)

    English, Français, العربية

    Application Form for Organizations (PDF)

    English, Français, العربية

    Application Form for Organizations (fillable PDF)

    English, Français, العربية

    Online version of the victim application form

    English, Français, العربية

    Information booklet for Victims

    English, Français, العربية

    Guide for Application Form for Individuals (PDF)

    English, Français, العربية

    Victim application process in the Yekatom and Ngaïssona case

    On 16 February 2021, trial proceedings commenced in the case of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.

    The Chamber set the deadline to receive victims' applications for participation until the end of the Prosecution case. This deadline was set in light of the difficulties of the ICC in reaching out to victims and to collect applications in the circumstances caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to ensure that victims have appropriate time and opportunity to apply for participation in the proceedings.

    The Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the Registry is responsible for assisting victims in the process of applying for participation in proceedings, or for reparations in case of a conviction. It may also assist victims and the Chamber in finding appropriate (common) legal representation of victims during the proceedings.

    The VPRS is collecting victims' application forms for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations . It will follow the  victim application procedure adopted by Pre-Trial Chamber II , and confirmed by Trial Chamber V in its 19 March 2020 decision.

    Who are the victims authorised to participate at trial?

    The victims authorised to participate in the process before the ICC are those who suffered crimes of which Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona are accused.

    1.  Individuals, Organizations or Institutions can be victims

    - Individual persons who have suffered direct or indirect personal harm as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges.  Individual victims should apply by completing the application form for participation for individuals (available in EnglishFrench, and Sango along with guidelines on how to fill in forms in EnglishFrench, and Sango);

    - Organizations or institutions, when their property dedicated to certain purposes (religion, education, art, science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments or hospitals) is directly harmed as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges. Organizations and institutions should apply for participation by using the application form for participation for organizations available in English and French along with guidelines in how to fill in forms in English and French). Only duly authorized representatives of an organization or institution may complete the application form.

    2.  Who suffered harm from crimes for which Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona are accused (crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges) :

    Between September 2013 and December 2014, an armed conflict not of an international character was ongoing in the territory of the Central African Republic between the Seleka and the Anti-Balaka, both constituting organised armed groups at that time. In this context,  Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona stand accused to be criminally responsible for crimes committed by the Anti-Balaka.

    Relevant crimes allegedly took place in:

    Bangui (including Cattin) and Boeing

    In the early morning hours of 5 December 2013, Anti-Balaka elements led by Mr Yekatom attacked the Boeing market in Bangui, specifically targeting the shops owned by Muslims and killing Muslims. They then proceeded to Cattin, where they killed Muslims. By 20 December 2013, they had also destroyed the Boeing Mosque, upon Mr Yekatom's orders.

    Following the 5 December 2013 attack, nearly all the Muslim residents of Boeing and Cattin fled, whether to other neighbourhoods in Bangui, other parts of the CAR or neighbouring countries.

    These are the crimes of murder, attack against the civilian population, attack on a building dedicated to religion, deportation/ forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, persecution

    Yamwara school

    The judges have decided that the facts and crimes that took place in the Yamwara School must remain confidential for reasons of protection of the witnesses and the victims.

    These are the crimes of murder, torture, cruel treatment, other inhumane acts, imprisonment and other forms of severe deprivation of liberty, persecution

    Along the PK9-Mbaïki Axis

    Following the 5 December 2013 attack on Bangui, Yekatom's Anti-Balaka group advanced through and took over numerous villages in the Lobaye Prefecture (including Sekia, Ndangala, Bimon, Kapou, Bossongo, Pissa et Mbaïki) on or around early to mid-January 2014.

    Fearing attacks by the Anti-Balaka, a number of Muslims in the Lobaye Prefecture fled their villages, primarily to Mbaïki.

    The Anti-Balaka reached Mbaïki around early February 2014. They harassed, insulted and threatened the Muslims, forcing them to leave the area. The Muslims from Mbaïki were thereafter evacuated to Chad or other locations in the CAR. Following the evacuation, a number of individuals including Anti-Balaka elements chased and killed one of the few remaining Muslim men.

    These are the crimes of murder, deportation/forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, persecution

    Enlistment and use of children under the age of 15

    Mr Yekatom stands accused to be criminally responsible for the enlistment and use of children under the age of 15 within the ranks of his Anti-Balaka group, in several locations under his control and in particular during the Attack of 5 December 2013 in Bangui.

    Children would have joined the Anti-Balaka voluntarily or forcibly, were given the roles of messengers or spies; were sent to operate checkpoints; and  were mobilised to participate in attacks. The children were also subjected to physical and mental violence by Anti-Balaka elements and were given drugs. These crimes allegedly took place between December 2013 and August 2014.

    Bossangoa

    Mr Ngaïssona stands accused to be criminally responsible for the attack carried out by two anti-Balaka groups against Bossangoa on 5 December 2013, in which Muslims civilians were targeted. In the days following this attack, the Anti-Balaka pillaged, looted and destroyed the houses of Muslims. As a result, the local Muslims fled and sought shelter at the École de la Liberté. The Anti-Balaka also allegedly destroyed Muslim places of worship, including the central Bossangoa mosque

    These are the crimes of murder, attack against the civilian population, rape, destruction of enemy property, pillage, attack on a building dedicated to religion, deportation/ forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, imprisonment and other forms of severe deprivation of liberty, persecution

    If you are interested in applying to participate in the proceedings as a victim of the alleged crimes listed above, please contact the VPRS at [email protected].

    The application form for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations should be ideally filled in with the assistance of persons who have been specially trained by the VPRS, to ensure that the forms are complete and that all the information necessary at this stage is provided. Please contact the VPRS at the above address for assistance.

    Please note that the purpose of the application form for participation in the proceedings and for reparations is NOT to provide evidence. The collection of evidence is not within the mandate of the VPRS, but that of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). The OTP generally receives any relevant information that may be considered as evidence relating to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC at: [email protected], at any time.

    Other relevant documents related to the Victim application process

    Information booklet for Victims

    EnglishFrench

    Key messages on legal representation of victims in the Case

    French

    Victim application process in the Al Hassan case

    On 31 March 2018, Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was surrendered to the International Criminal Court ("ICC") on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Timbuktu. The surrender follows an arrest warrant issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I ("Chamber") of 27 March 2018. On 4 April 2018, Mr Al Hassan appeared before the Single Judge of the Chamber for an initial appearance hearing held in the presence of the Prosecutor and Mr Al Hassan's defence counsel. The Single Judge provisionally set the date for the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud case ("Al Hassan case") for 24 September 2018. By decision of 20 July 2018, following observations by the parties, the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing was postponed to 6 May 2019. 

    The Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the Registry is responsible for assisting victims in the process of applying for participation in proceedings, and reparations in case of a conviction. It also assists victims and the Chamber in finding an appropriate legal representation of victims during the proceedings.

    On 24 May 2018, the Chamber issued a decision on the principles applicable to victims' participation in the case by which, inter alia, it approved a joint form for participation and reparations to be used for the purpose of applying for participation and/or reparations in the Al Hassan case.

    The VPRS has now commenced the process of collecting victims' application forms for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations.

    There are two forms that victims can use, according to their situation: one form is for individuals, and the other is for organisations ( nota bene : according to rule 85(b) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, organisations that may participate in proceedings before the ICC are organisations or institutions whose property dedicated to certain purposes - religion, education, art, science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments or hospitals - has been harmed as a result of ICC crimes).

    The application forms for participation and/or reparations for individuals and for organizations in the Al Hassan proceedings are available here.

    The VPRS has also issued guidelines on how to fill in the forms; these are available alongside the relevant participation/reparation forms.

    Please contact VPRS at [email protected] for any questions relating to the filling in of the victim application form and any related issue.

    The VPRS can receive applications at any time. However, please note that the Chamber ordered the VPRS to transmit applications for participation in the confirmation of charges hearing at the latest 30 days before the start of the hearing. Since the confirmation of charges hearing was postponed to 6 May 2019, the deadline for transmitting applications for participation to the Chamber was also postponed (ie. by 6 April 2019).

    In order to maximize the chances that applications be received and processed by the VPRS on time to meet this deadline, we encourage you to submit your application to the VPRS as soon as possible and ideally before 22 March 2019. Applications received after the deadline will also be considered, but applicants may not be able to participate in proceedings as early as for the hearing on the confirmation of charges. If you have questions regarding the timeline, please contact the VPRS.

    Please note that the purpose of the application form for participation in the proceedings and for reparations is NOT to provide evidence. The collection of evidence is not within the mandate of the VPRS, but that of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). The OTP generally receives any relevant information that may be considered as evidence relating to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC at: [email protected], at any time.

    Victims play an important role in the Court's proceedings. Pursuant to article 68(3) of the Rome Statute, during judicial proceedings, victims have the right to present their views and concerns directly to the ICC Judges. This is already the case during the pre-trial proceedings, where the Prosecutor seeks the confirmation of charges for a subsequent trial against one or more individuals subject to an arrest warrant or a summons to appear (see article 61 of the Rome Statute). Victims may exercise their participatory rights throughout all instances of judicial proceedings, including appeals. 

    Victims' rights to make observations to the ICC on specific topics may commence even before the pre-trial stage (for instance on a question regarding the ICC's jurisdiction or where the Prosecutor decides not to commence an investigation subsequent to victims' communications with the ICC in respect of the situation).

    Notably, victims may also claim reparations in case the proceeding lead to a conviction of the accused.

    For further general information on the role that victims can play in the proceedings, on how victims can apply for participation and/or for reparations once judicial proceedings commence, and on other related aspects, please continue reading below; in addition, please click here for a detailed general booklet for victims before the ICC.

    Participation

    Victims can apply to participate in judicial proceedings before the ICC through a standard application form. There are specific forms for natural persons and institutions, respectively. The Registry has also developed written guidelines which assist the person and/or organisation filling in the application form. If you are a victim or acting on behalf of victims and if you want to fill in an application form to participate in proceedings before the ICC, please contact the Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the ICC at the address indicated below. The Section will provide you with all relevant information, forms and other documentation, and any other assistance you may require.

    You can also find below the standard application forms for individuals and organisations to participate in proceedings in a Situation before the ICC. Please note that before filling in the form, it is urgently advised that you contact the VPRS so that you can be provided with information and advice as to whether it is appropriate at the respective stage of ICC proceedings to fill out the form, and what participation in ICC proceedings generally entails, including relevant timelines. In addition, the VPRS may provide training and advice as to how to fill in the form correctly (written Guidelines are available for download below), which is very important in order for victims' expectations to be met with adequate Registry advice.

    Application Form for Individuals: English, Français, Arabic, Hebrew, Dari, Pashto, Burmese, Ukrainian, Russian

    Application Form for Individuals - Fillable: EnglishUkrainianRussian

    Guidelines on how to complete the form for individuals: English, Français , ArabicHebrew, Dari, Ukrainian, Russian

    Application Form for Organizations: English, Français, Arabic, Hebrew, DariPashto, Burmese, Ukrainian, Russian

    Guidelines on how to complete the form for organizations: English, Français, Ukrainian, Russian

    For the first time in the history of international criminal justice, victims have the possibility to share their views and concerns in the proceedings, represented by a lawyer as legal counsel in the courtroom. If a victim or group of victims lacks the necessary means for such a legal representative, the Registry may afford some financial assistance.

    Victims do not have to travel to the seat of the Court and their lawyer ensures that at all stages of the proceedings, their views and concerns are heard on matters where their personal interests are affected.

    Such participation is voluntary and victims have to fill-in a written application which will be considered by the Court. From this very moment, the identities of victims are protected in the proceedings by a pseudonym attributed to them by the Court (for example: a/0001/18) and their names consequently do not appear in the public domain.

    The timing and manner of the victims' participation are determined by the Judges depending on the stage of the proceedings. Victims' lawyers may be notified of submissions made in the relevant case, may attend hearings and make oral submissions, may file written submissions, or be allowed to question witnesses.

    The set of rights developed by the Court enables victims, through their lawyers, to express an opinion independently of the Prosecution or the Defence. The various Chambers of the Court have notably recognised that victims' participation assists them in uncovering the truth.

     

    Within the Court, the Office of Public Counsel for the Victims (OPCV) provides legal representation to victims throughout proceedings, as well as assistance and support to external lawyers appointed by victims. The OPCV is an independent office and falls within the Registry solely for administrative purposes. This independence is a prerequisite for carrying out the mandate of assisting and representing legal representatives of victims and victims. Such independence allows the Office to work without being subjected to pressure of any kind and preserves the privileged relationship between victims and their lawyers. The Office has also an important role in enhancing the rights of victims in the proceedings, advocating at different levels and participating in specialised meetings with subsidiary bodies of the Assembly of States Parties and NGOs. For more information, please write at [email protected]

    To enquire about the applicable form for specific proceedings, please contact the Victims Participation and Reparations Section of the ICC.

    Victims Participation and Reparations Section
    International Criminal Court

    Po Box 19519
    2500 CM, The Hague
    The Netherlands

    E-mail address: [email protected]

    Contact telephone number: +31(0)70 515 95 55

    Learn more about representing victims before the ICC as a lawyer, and get more information for legal professionals.

    Victims' reparations

    Distinct from participation in Court proceedings, victims can seek reparation for the harm that they have suffered.

    At the end of a trial, if there is a conviction, the Trial Chamber may order a convicted person to pay reparations to the victims of the crimes of which the person was found guilty. The Court may order such reparations to be paid through the Trust Fund for Victims.

    The Court may award reparations on an individual and/or collective basis, whichever is, in its view, the most appropriate for the victims in the particular case.

    Collective and/or individual reparations may include monetary compensation, return of property, rehabilitation, medical support, victims' services centres, or symbolic measures such as apologies or memorials.

    At this stage of the proceedings, victims are also represented by a lawyer who will be in a position to present relevant information to the Chamber on behalf of his or her clients.

    To learn how to apply for reparations as a victim or assist someone in applying to for reparations, contact [email protected].

    Assistance to victims

    Separate from reparations, which can only be delivered after a defendant has been convicted, the Rome Statute allows for assistance to victims through the Trust Fund for Victims, following a decision by an ICC Pre-Trial Chamber.

    Submitting communications to the Office of the Prosecutor

    Any individual can send information to the Office of the Prosecutor regarding any alleged crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the Court. Persons with such information can communicate to the Office of the Prosecutor any relevant information for the purposes of an eventual investigation or prosecution at: [email protected], at any time.

    International Criminal Court Bar Association

    The International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA) is an independent, professional association representing the interests of Counsel and legal Support Staff who represent victims, defendants and other actors (such as witnesses) before the ICC. The ICCBA serves as a collective voice for its membership, and provides them a range of support and services, as well as acting as a forum for discussion on all matters pertaining to the Court. The ICCBA's operations are primarily funded by the subscriptions paid by its members, and it is governed by an elected President (currently Marie-Hélène Proulx) and Executive Council, with eight elected standing committees responsible for specific issues and activities.