International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

ICC Lifts Restrictions on Lubanga’s Communications and Visits

International Criminal Court (ICC) judges have withdrawn the restrictions they had imposed on war crimes convict Thomas Lubanga’s communications and visits. The judges found that Lubanga currently presents little risk of interfering with witnesses in the trial of fellow Congolese national Bosco Ntaganda.

Lubanga, who is serving what remains of his 14-year sentence from a jail in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, had restrictions placed upon him in June 2015 after he was implicated in interfering with witnesses in Ntaganda’s trial. Lubanga and Ntaganda served in the armed group known as the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) as a commander-in-chief and a deputy chief, respectively.

Besides imposing restrictions on Lubanga’s contacts, judges also ordered active monitoring of his … Continue Reading

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Judges to Conduct Another Review on Reducing Lubanga’s ICC Sentence

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have initiated a second review on the possible reduction of the prison sentence of Thomas Lubanga, the first person to be tried and convicted by the court.

The upcoming review follows an initial review conducted in 2015, when judges declined to reduce the sentence, which could have resulted in an early release for the former Congolese rebel leader. At the time, the judges determined that there were no factors in favor of Lubanga’s release, having found no evidence that he had genuinely dissociated from his crimes. Furthermore, the judges ruled that there was no indication of any significant action taken by Lubanga for the benefit of victims of his crimes.

Lubanga was convicted in Mach … Continue Reading

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Réactions des victimes congolaises dans la perspective des réparations dans l’affaire Lubanga

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC.

Les victimes des crimes commis par Thomas Lubanga dans un groupement de la communauté Lendu dans la Province de l’Ituri, ont accueilli favorablement la décision du Fonds au Profit des Victimes (Fonds) affectant un million d’euros aux réparations collectives en République démocratique du Congo.

« Nous acceptons que le Fonds nous construise des stades, des centres de santé, réhabilite nos routes… ceci va nous faire oublier les crimes du passé… [M]algré … Continue Reading

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Reactions of Congolese Victims to the Prospect of Reparations in the Lubanga Case

The below article is from our partner at Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The article was produced as part of the radio station’s Interactive Radio for Justice and Peace Project, which promotes discussion on critical issues around justice in DRC.

The victims of crimes committed by Thomas Lubanga within the Lendu community in Ituri Province have welcomed the decision of the Trust Fund for Victims (the Fund) that allocated one million Euros to collective reparations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We agree to the Fund building stadiums, healthcare centers, repairing our roads… this is going to make us forget the crimes of the past… [I]n spite of everything, we are brothers, … Continue Reading

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How the Trust Fund for Victims Will Spend €1 Million on Collective Reparations in Congo

The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV or Fund) has described how it will use the €1 million (US$1.06 million) it has earmarked for collective reparations to victims of Thomas Lubanga’s crimes in Ituri district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Fund, however, acknowledges that the available finances are insufficient to meet the reparations needs in the three-year program.

Lubanga, former leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia group, was convicted in 2012 over the recruitment, conscription, and use of children under 15 years in armed conflict. In addition to the 14-year jail sentence, Lubanga has to make reparations to victims of his crimes. However, the TVF is financing the reparations because the court found Lubanga indigent. Nonetheless, he … Continue Reading

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ICC Makes Progress on Reparations for Victims in Lubanga Case

On October 21, 2016, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) approved and gave the Trust Fund for Victims (Trust Fund) the go-ahead to implement its plan on symbolic collective reparations in relation to the Thomas Lubanga case. The significance of this decision will not be lost on victims who have followed and participated in this process.

This step forward comes after a long wait by victims. Lubanga, whose trial began in 2009, was convicted and sentenced by the ICC in 2012. Judges held Lubanga responsible for the war crime of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between July 2002 … Continue Reading

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La CPI fait des progrès sur les réparations versées aux victimes dans l’affaire Lubanga

Le 21 octobre 2016, la Chambre de première instance II de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) a approuvé et donné au Fonds au profit des victimes le feu vert pour mettre en œuvre son plan sur les réparations collectives symboliques dans l’affaire Thomas Lubanga. La signification de cette décision ne sera pas ignorée par les victimes qui ont suivi et participé à cette procédure.

Cette avancée a lieu après une très longue attente des victimes. M. Lubanga, dont le procès a débuté en 2009, a été reconnu coupable et condamné par la CPI en 2012. Les juges tiennent M. Lubanga pour responsable des crimes de guerre de recrutement et de conscription d’enfants de moins de 15 ans ainsi que de les avoir utiliser pour participer activement … Continue Reading

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Reparations Plan for Lubanga Victims Takes Shape

The plan for making reparations to victims of Thomas Lubanga’s use of hundreds of child soldiers in armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo a decade and a half ago is nearing completion. The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) will spend €1 million (US $1.1 million) over three years to support affected communities and individuals in eastern Congo.

However, the plan, which has taken four years to draw up, is not without challenges. The funds allocated for reparations are limited, and victims will not receive individual reparations, which many had expected. Moreover, continuing insecurity and the influence of Lubanga’s party in Ituri district could deter victims from participating in the reparations program.

These challenges were the focus of discussions when the … Continue Reading

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Quelques Considerations Critiques sur les Reparations au Profit des Victimes dans l’Affaire contre Thomas Lubanga a la CPI

Cet article est écrit par le professeur Serge Makaya, Docteur en droit, Université Aix-Marseille, Professeur des universités (Université de Kinshasa, Université Protestante au Congo, Université Catholique du Congo), Avocat, Président du centre national de recherche sur la justice transitionnelle, plusieurs fois conseiller juridique au ministère  de la justice et droits humains. Les vues exprimées dans ce commentaire ne représentent pas nécessairement celles d’Open Society Justice Initiative.

Le 7 août 2012, la Chambre de première instance I de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) s’est prononcée sur les réparations dues aux victimes dans l’affaire le Procureur contre Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.

Cette Chambre, ayant constaté préalablement l’insolvabilité du condamné, a ordonné au Fonds au profit des victimes de recueillir, auprès des victimes les propositions en matière … Continue Reading

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Critical Considerations Regarding Reparations in the Thomas Lubanga Case at the ICC

This article is written by Professor Serge Makaya, a professor of law at the University of Kinshasa, Protestant University of Congo, and Catholic University of Congo. Professor Makaya is a lawyer, president of the National Research Center on Transitional Justice, and has served as a legal adviser to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. He received his law degeree from Université Aix-Marseille.  The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On August 7, 2012, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision on the reparations due to victims in the case of the prosecutor against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.

This chamber, having previously noted the insolvency of the convicted … Continue Reading

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