The proposed fellowship aims to contribute to the scholarly debate, policy discussion and policymaking on victim participation, its role, scope and implications in transitional justice. It will build upon my doctoral research at the University of Oxford, which centred on the participation of victims of gross violations of human rights as civil parties in international criminal proceedings, and will further explore the development and dynamics of civil party participation at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Victim participation is still a novelty in the realm of international criminal justice, and as such, the trials at the ECCC in Cambodia have appeared more as ‘experimenting laboratories’ than as processes guided by sound and well-crafted rules and procedures. My doctoral thesis has argued that whilst the apparent benefits of participation seem self-evident, and may lead, at least in theory, to the realisation of the aspiration of restorative justice for victims of the Khmer Rouge, the manner in which civil party participation has been crafted and interpreted in the trials before the ECCC has raised some important issues and questions regarding its role and impact with respect to the functionality of court proceedings, the rights of the accused, and the rights of victims themselves.

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