This paper considers the actors and contexts which frame victimhood within transitional justice mechanisms, using the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as a case study. Drawing on critical victimology’s concern with the cultural, political and legal construction of victimhood, this paper explores how heterogeneous legal and political elites can create layers of exclusion, shaping which victims are seen, and which are unseen, within official responses to atrocity. While the politics of victimhood in domestic and transitional contexts has been acknowledged within the literature, this paper’s actor-oriented approach contributes a thicker understanding of how ‘worthy’ victims are selected from all those who have suffered from mass atrocity. In particular, it considers how political compromises, jurisdictional limits, prosecutorial choices, and the creation of a civil party participation system have shaped victim visibility within the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
- International Criminal Law