On October 29, 2020, PJI participated in a roundtable hosted by the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights Seoul on the topic of international organisations working on accountability processes and strategies for accountability.
Human Rights Council resolutions 34/24 and 40/20, mandated OHCHR to explore avenues for future accountability mechanisms for crimes against humanity being committed in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the High Commissioner is due to provide a written report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution at its 46th session in March 2021. In this regard, OHCHR consulted representatives of organizations specifically working on advancing accountability, on their views of what accountability options for the DPRK could be taken forward. Participants were invited to share best practices and experiences from their past and present work, with a view towards laying out and taking forward accountability strategies, including through public advocacy and engagement with the full range of criminal, civil, domestic and international accountability mechanisms and approaches.
We were invited to present on the question of how victim involvement in accountability efforts can be ensured. We presented made a 20-minute presentation about PJI’s method and our experience on DPRK, recommendations for building capacity toward accountability, approaches to victim-centric investigation and prosecution, including UJ prosecution, and ways that lawyers representing victims can overcome the hurdles that government prosecutors often face, open new paths to accountability, and amplify victim voices throughout the legal process.
This intervention finds its roots in prior work conducted by the PJI legal team.