Reparations at the International Criminal Court: Podcast with Ruben Carranza

3/31/2011

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“In criminal prosecutions,” Mr. Carranza explains, “the focus is really on the accused person, on the alleged perpetrator, and not on the victim. On the other hand, in reparations programs, the focus is on the victim.”

“We brought Guy Mushiata, our colleague from the DRC, who talked about women victims of sexual violence related to conflict who have sued before the different courts of the DRC. More than 200 of them—200 victims—have obtained judgments, many of them in their favor, ordering reparations to be paid. None of these women have ever received anything from the state.”

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Mr. Carranza points out that the writers of the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, were caught in debate over whether the court should have a mandate to provide reparations, and in the end it became the first international criminal court with the power to do so.

“One of the very basic things that the international community can do,” Mr. Carranza recommends, “is support national reparations programs. The second way is for the international community to provide voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for Victims, so that the TFV itself can expand its role and its assistance mandate.”

Third, Mr. Carranza adds, the international community should “assist the court in the freezing, identification and recovery of assets of perpetrators because under the Rome Statute system, once there is a conviction, [the assets could be] forfeited, and will go to reparations.”