Conor Mc Carthy; Reparations and Victim Support in the International Criminal Court

Conor McCarthy’s monograph, Reparations and Victim Support in the International Criminal Court, adds to an already vast literature on this topic. Yet, paradoxically, few decisions have been rendered on the redress regime established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the body of case law on this subject is therefore small. This lack of judicial practice admittedly makes it difficult to provide an original contribution, with most commentators on the subject limiting themselves to theoretical analyses of the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute.

McCarthy’s book, however, is a successful attempt to analyse this new topic in an original and articulate manner. By exploring both the provisions on reparation and victim support, the study not only presents a comprehensive analysis of the ICC’s victim redress regime but also addresses two main questions underpinning the idea of establishing such a regime within the context of international criminal justice institutions. First, the author considers the role of the ICC victim reparation and support regime within the wider framework of victim redress at both the national and international levels. Second, at a more theoretical level, McCarthy questions the contribution of victim redress to international criminal justice, a discipline that has traditionally focused on the prosecution and punishment of offenders.

Pursuant to a thorough analysis of the ICC redress regime, together with the regimes available both at the national and international level, the author convincingly concludes that the ICC scheme has a distinct and crucial role to play in relation to victim redress. As correctly stated by McCarthy, ‘[t]he Rome Statute’s regime of victim redress does not exist in isolation’. In fact, it complements other regimes available at the international level for victims of internationally wrongful acts, namely, those established under international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the law of diplomatic protection.

Cambridge University press 2012, ISBN 9781107664586