Who are the victims of grand corruption? The answer used to be “no one” or, at best, the state itself. But especially with the advent of a human rights approach to corruption in the Inter-American and United Nations human rights systems, that perception is slowly changing. Grand corruption affects the full range of human rights of individuals and groups. When rights are violated, states have an obligation under international law to investigate, prosecute, and provide redress. The UN Convention Against Corruption mirrors this requirement in Article 35.
And yet national courts have been reluctant to recognize the rights of those who have suffered damage — either to participate in proceedings involving grand corruption or to recognize them as victims due compensation. In part, the reluctance stems from difficulties legal doctrine creates for establishing the causal link between a specific act of corruption and harm to a specific person or group. To create the same “justice cascade” as in human rights cases, corruption victims should be able to seek relief through either a criminal or civil action and as either individuals or communities or through representative organizations. Where a state prosecutor has brought charges, victims should be able, as they can in France and Spain, to be full participants in the prosecution.Seguir leyendo