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Fedorchenko, A.A. Legal position of the victim of crime as a witness in international criminal process

Published in journal "Mezhdunarodnoe pravo i mezhdunarodnye organizacii / International Law and International Organizations", 2014-1 in rubric "International courts", pages 80-87.

Resume: The article concerns various aspects of the legal status of a crime victim in the international criminal process. It is stated that both the norms on victims and the norms of witnesses should apply to the definition of such a status. These issues are regarded in two dimensions: a victim as a witness in the International Criminal Court and the victim as a witness in the international criminal ad hoc tribunals (such as the ICTY). The author considers that specific features of international crime and international criminal tribunals (such as the geographical distance between the place, where the crime was committed, and the place where the process is held, gravity of a crime, possible continuation of mass repressions and absence of international police forces, require the higher threshold of protection of witnesses, which is especially important in the international criminal process. The author also states that the witness protection measures should be combined with the right of an accused to fair trial, especially concerning public open character of a judicial process. Sometimes the protective measures contravene this principles (specifically, when the hearings are closed). Finally, the author notes that the complicated character of protection of victims providing testimony as witnesses is also due to the fact that both the norms regarding victims and norms on witnesses apply to them.

Keywords: international law, crime victim, international criminal process, international criminal tribunals, judicial proceedings, international criminal court, defense, accusation, witness, victim.

DOI: 10.7256/2226-6305.2014.1.11556

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