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2012 | Cécile Aptel: Prosecutorial Discretion at the ICC and Victims’ Right to Remedy, Narrowing the Impunity Gap

in: Journal of International Criminal Justice (2012) 10 (5): 1357-1375

Through the exercise of discretionary powers, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) selects from among the many offences which fall within the mandate of the Court a narrow set of crimes to be litigated. As a result, and also because of the complementarity paradigm, many victims of gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law fall into the impunity gap and have no access to judicial remedy. This article argues that the denial of the right to effective remedy (and reparation) to these victims potentially puts international criminal justice at odds with international human rights law. This tension should be addressed not only by supporting positive complementarity, but also by insisting that a broader range of cases and charges be pursued at the ICC.