Large-scale victimization due to armed conflicts is more often than not related to acts that constitute international crimes (which for the purpose of this paper refer to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide). From the perspective of international criminal law (ICL), due to legal and practical limitations, large-scale victimization will necessarily have to be accounted for selectively, and in small-scale trials. This raises critical issues of legitimacy and representativeness at different levels.
First, at the broadest level, a situation will have to be selected from the universe of potential situations of international concern around the world. Then cases consisting of particular offences and accused within the situation shall be selected. Finally, a selection of the means of evidence by which to investigate and prove those cases will take place.
Issues specific to each of these levels need to be discussed in order to define the most objective and reliable criteria for selecting (in this order) situations, cases and means of evidence, so as to optimize the representativeness of the proceedings vis-à-vis the broader reality of large-scale victimization. The credibility and legitimacy of international justice will be determined to a large extent by their real or perceived ability to represent in a fair and objective way the realities of large-scale victimization.
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