International Criminal Court (ICC) judges have issued guiding questions that will help determine the nature of the reparations in the Bosco Ntaganda case. They have also provided a timetable for parties and participants in the case to submit their observations.
As part of the reparations proceedings, the court’s Registry has issued a call for experts to assist the court in determining the nature of the reparations in the case. The call follows a December 5, 2019 order issued by Trial Chamber VI, in which it set the timelines for filing observations on the reparations and ordered the Registry to identify three or more experts.
In the Registry’s call for experts, it notes that the trial chamber may appoint competent experts to be included on the list of experts that the Registry maintains pursuant to Regulation 44 of the Regulations of the Court. The chamber may do so if the individuals’ expertise is deemed necessary to assist it in determining the extent of any damage, loss, and injury to or in respect of victims and to suggest options concerning the appropriate types and modalities of reparations.
Individuals to be included on the list of experts would need to have proven expertise and wide experience in a variety of matters relating to reparations. Familiarity with the context of the ICC’s operations, including an understanding of the affected communities, local and regional dynamics, stakeholders, and local programs or initiatives, will be considered an asset.
The experts sought need to have expertise in the matters below, with a focus on the specific circumstances of the Ntaganda case:
i. the scope of liability of the convicted person;
ii. the scope, extent, and evolution of the harm suffered by both direct and indirect victims, including the long-term consequences of the crimes on the affected communities and the potential cost of repair;
iii. appropriate modalities of reparations; and
iv. sexual violence, in particular sexual slavery, and its consequences on direct and indirect victims.
The Registry will receive expressions of interest until January 19, 2020, and the experts will be engaged from February 14 to August 28, 2020, when their report will be due to be filed before the trial chamber.
Ntaganda was convicted last July of five counts of crimes against humanity and 13 counts of war crimes. He is appealing the conviction and the 30-year prison term. However, these appeals do not stop the reparations proceedings from moving forward.
Issues Guiding the Reparations
The Single Judge of Trial Chamber VI, Judge Chang-ho Chung, has given the Registry, the Trust Fund for Victims, and parties to the proceedings, up to February 28, 2020, to make submissions on the following issues:
i. whether the principles on reparations established by the Appeals Chamber in the Lubanga case need to be amended or supplemented in light of the circumstances of the Ntaganda case;
ii. the criteria and the methodology to be applied in the determination and the assessment of: (i) the eligibility of victims; (ii) the relevant types and scope of harm; and (iii) the scope of liability of Mr Ntaganda, including the determination of the precise extent of the (monetary) obligations to be imposed on him; and
iii. the types and modalities of reparations appropriate to address the types of harm relevant in the circumstances of the Ntaganda case, including factors relating to the appropriateness of awarding reparations on an individual basis, a collective basis, or both.
The prosecution and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo will also have up to February 28, 2020 to make submissions on these issues. Additionally, any organization interested in making submissions on the issues, once authorized by the trial chamber, would file their observations by the same date. Parties to the proceedings will subsequently have up to October 30, 2020 to file final submissions, including responses to arguments of other participants.