legal basis

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

The basis for the Trust Fund for Victims is laid down in article 79 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

Article 79, Trust Fund

1. A Trust Fund shall be established by decision of the Assembly of States Parties for the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the families of such victims. 

2. The Court may order money and other property collected through fines or forfeiture to be transferred, by order of the Court, to the Trust Fund. 

3. The Trust Fund shall be managed according to criteria to be determined by the Assembly of States Parties. 

The Rome Statute reflects the growing international consensus that justice for victims of the gravest human rights crimes cannot be achieved without their participation in the judiciary process; and without their direct involvement in defining and implementing the most appropriate means of reparation and rehabilitation.

Therefore, the Rome Statute established a unique system in which the elements of retributive and restorative justice aim to be reconciled. Adopted on 17 July 1998 and ratified four years later on 1 July 2002, this treaty created both the International Criminal Court and the Trust Fund for Victims.

The Trust Fund for Victims is a one of a kind entity, both with regard to its relationship with the Court and its mandates towards supporting victims.

 

Rules of Procedure and Evidence

The Rules of Procedure and Evidence provide additional detail about the two mandates of the Trust Fund. Rule 98 (1-4) specifies reparations awarded by the Court against a convicted person while Rule 98 (5) refers to the Trust Fund's assistance mandate with regard to the use of "other resources" for the benefit of victims. 

Rule 98, Trust Fund

1. Individual awards for reparations shall be made directly against a convicted person.

2. The Court may order that an award for reparations against a convicted person be deposited with the Trust Fund where at the time of making the order it is impossible or impracticable to make individual awards directly to each victim. The award for reparations thus deposited in the Trust Fund shall be separated from other resources of the Trust Fund and shall be forwarded to each victim as soon as possible.

3. The Court may order that an award for reparations against a convicted person be made through the Trust Fund where the number of the victims and the scope, forms and modalities of reparations makes a collective award more appropriate.

4. Following consultations with interested States and the Trust Fund, the Court may order that an award for reparations be made through the Trust Fund to an intergovernmental, international or national organization approved by the Trust Fund.

5. Other resources of the Trust Fund may be used for the benefit of victims subject to the provisions of article 79.

Rule 98 (1-4) specify the Trust Fund's mandate with regard to reparations awarded by the Court against a convicted person. Rule 98 (5) specifies  the Trust Fund's mandate with regard to the use of "other resources" for the benefit of victims, subject to the provisions of Article 79 of the Rome Statute.

 

Assembly of States Parties Resolutions

ICC-ASP/1/Res.6 (PDF): Establishment of a fund for the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the families of such victims

Through this resolution, the first ASP in September 2002 reiterated the will to establish a Trust Fund for Victims. The Assembly of States Parties defined contributions to the TFV and established the five-member Board of Directors.

ICC-ASP/3/Res.7 (PDF): Establishment of the Secretariat of the Trust Fund for Victims

The third ASP, held in September 2004 in The Hague, decided to establish a Secretariat “to provide such assistance as is necessary for the proper functioning of the Board of Directors in carrying out its tasks”. The resolution also “calls upon governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities to contribute voluntarily to the Fund”.

ICC-ASP/4/Res.3 (PDF): Regulations of the Trust Fund for Victims (NOTE: this version does not include the amendment made to Regulation 27 through ICC-ASP/6/Res.3 on earmarked contributions, linked below)

At the fourth plenary meeting on 3 December, 2005, the Assembly of States Parties adopted a resolution to articulate the regulations of the Trust Fund, which are contained in an annex (detailed below).

ICC-ASP/4/Res.5 (PDF): Procedure for filling vacancies in the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims

At the fourth plenary meeting on 3 December, 2005, the Assembly of States Parties adopted a resolution to clarify the procedure in the event of a vacancy on the Board of Directors.

ICC-ASP/4/Res.7 (PDF): Amendment regarding the term of office of members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims

At the fourth plenary meeting on 3 December, 2005, the Assembly of States Parties adopted a resolution to clarify the procedure in cases where the term of office of a Board member expires before the election of a new Board can take place.

ICC-ASP/6/Res.3 (PDF): Amendment regarding voluntary contributions earmarked for specific purposes

At the seventh plenary meeting on 14 December, 2007, the Assembly of States Parties adopted a resolution to allow for the possibility of earmarked contributions by governments and other sources when the funds have been raised at the initiative of the members of the Board of Directors and/or the Executive Director.

 

Regulations of the Trust Fund for Victims

The Regulations of the Trust Fund were adopted by the Assembly of States Parties at the 4th plenary meeting on 3 December, 2005, with a view to ensure the proper and effective functioning of the Trust Fund.

They contain provision regulating:

·         the management and oversight of the TFV;

·         the receipt of funds;

·         the activities and projects of the TFV; and

·         the TFV's reporting requirements.

Regarding the TFV's activities and projects, the Regulations specify that all resources of the Trust Fund shall be for the benefit of victims within the jurisdiction of the Court as defined by Rule 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and, where natural persons are concerned, their families.

The Regulations provide a detailed legal regime for the Trust Fund's two mandates:

Under the TFV's Reparation mandate, the Regulations contain detailed provisions on awards for reparations by the Court, referring to individual awards (Rule 98 (2) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence), collective awards (Rule 98 (3)), and awards to an intergovernmental, international, or national organization (Rule 98 (4)).

With respect to the TFV's assistance mandate, the Regulations specify that before undertaking activities to provide physical rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, and/or material support to victims, the Board is required to formally notify the Court of its intentions.