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Part V Fairness and Expeditiousness of ICC Proceedings, 44 External Support and Internal Coordination—The ICC and the Protection of Witnesses

Markus Eikel

From: The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court

Edited By: Carsten Stahn

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 January 2023

Witnesses — International criminal law, evidence — Prosecution — Travaux préparatoires

The protection of witnesses forms part of the core mandate of the Court. It is a crucial aspect of pre-trial and trial proceedings. The Statute divides institutional responsibilities among different organs (i.e. OTP, Registry, and Chambers), without clearly defining their roles. This Chapter re-visits this relationship and focuses on witness protection as an aspect of governance of the Court. It introduces Court practices, such as risk assessment or the ICC initial response system. It argues that the Court should rely on a comprehensive inter-organ approach in relation to protective measures. It shows that the Court is in need of increased support and cooperation from States Parties and other external actors in order to improve its protective capacity, including relocation. Promoting domestic capacity in the field of protective measures may be a possible way of improvement, but it would require sufficient expertise and neutrality.

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