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1998 | Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

The Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and grants the Court jurisdiction over four main crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of aggression. The ICC has the authority to take a case when the national system is unwilling or unable to carry out proceedings genuinely. In this sense, the ICC constitutes a court of last resort for victims who seek to obtain justice. Relevant provisions on the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court and the admissibility of a case are Article 13, 15 and 17. 

Afghanistan deposited its instrument of accession to the Rome Statute on 10 February 2003.?In accordance with Article 11 and 126 of the Statute, the ICC can exercise jurisdiction on crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan or by its nationals since 1 May 2003.  

Victims’ rights 

The Rome Statute provides for different regimes of victims’ participation and the modalities of such participation vary depending on the stage of the proceedings. Pursuant to Article 68(3), the Court shall allow victims to present their views and concerns, where their personal interests are affected. However, it is within the Court discretion to decide how and when they can exercise their procedural rights.  

A specific participation scheme is provided in with Article 75 of the Rome Statutewhich allows victims to initiate proceedings regarding reparations for the harm suffered as a result of a crime within the Court’s jurisdiction. Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is the main channel for the payments of awards issued by the ICC.  

Trust Fund for Victims 

The TFV, established by the Assembly of States in accordance with Article 79 of the Rome Statute, helps realize victims’ rights by supporting and implementing programmes that address the harm resulting from the commission of crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The TFV has a twofold mandate. Under the assistance mandate, it may provide physical, psychological, and material support to victims and their families. Additionally, in line with its reparation mandate, the TFV implements court-ordered reparation awards. For this purpose, it collects court-ordered fines and forfeitures as well as voluntary contributions. 

See also 2005 ICC-Assembly of States Parties/4/Res. 3 - Regulations of the Trust Fund for Victims