International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Judges to Pronounce Lubanga’s Financial Liability for Reparations

This Friday, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges will declare the financial liability that former Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga will bear in reparation to victims of his crimes. In the only case at the court in which judges have made such a ruling, they determined that former militia leader Germain Katanga – also Congolese – bears a financial liability of US$ 1 million.

Lubanga, the first person tried by the ICC, was convicted in March 2012 of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them in armed conflict in Congo’s Ituri district during 2002 and 2003, and he was handed a 14-year prison term. In December 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber, by … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Les juges devraient se prononcer sur la responsabilité financière de M. Lubanga pour les réparations

Ce vendredi, les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) se prononceront sur la responsabilité financière que l’ancien chef rebelle congolais Thomas Lubanga portera en réparations aux victimes de ses crimes. Il s’agit de la seule affaire jugée par la Cour dans laquelle les juges aient émis ce type de décision, ils ont décidé que l’ancien chef de milice Germain Katanga, également congolais, porte une responsabilité financière de 1 million de dollars US.

Lubanga, la première personne jugée par la CPI, a été reconnu coupable en mars 2012 des crimes de guerre de circonscription et d’enrôlement d’enfants de moins de 15 ans et pour les avoir utilisé dans un conflit armé qui s’est déroulé dans le district de l’Ituri, au Congo, en 2002 et … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Les juges refusent une nouvelle fois de diminuer la peine de M. Lubanga prononcée devant la CPI

Les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) ont une nouvelle fois refusé de diminuer la peine prononcée à l’encontre de l’ancien chef rebelle congolais Thomas Lubanga qui purge actuellement une peine de prison de 14 ans. M. Lubanga, la première personne à être jugée par la Cour, a été condamnée en 2012 pour l’utilisation d’enfants soldats dans un conflit armé dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

Plus tôt dans le mois, les juges Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Howard Morrison et Piotr Hofmański avaient décidé que depuis l’examen initial de la peine il y a deux ans, il n’y avait pas eu de modification significative des circonstances permettant de justifier une libération anticipée de M. Lubanga.

De plus, les juges ont déclaré … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Judges Again Decline to Reduce Lubanga’s ICC Sentence

International Criminal Court (ICC) judges have once again declined to reduce the sentence for former Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga, who is currently serving a 14-year prison term. Lubanga, the first person to be tried by the court, was convicted in 2012 over the use of child soldiers in an armed conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Earlier this month, Judges Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Howard Morrison, and Piotr Hofmański determined that since the initial review of the sentence two years ago, there had been no significant change in circumstances to warrant Lubanga’s early release.

Furthermore, the judges stated that they saw no reason to schedule a further review of Lubanga’s sentence, given that it expires on March 15, 2020. … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

ICC Prosecutor, Victims Continue to Oppose Lubanga’s Early Release

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opposed a possible early release for Thomas Lubanga, the first person convicted by the court, who is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence. Similarly, the victims of Lubanga’s crimes have asked judges not to shorten his jail term.

In a submission to the ICC appeals chamber considering a possible reduction of the sentence, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated that Lubanga does not deserve early release. “The gravity of the crimes for which he was convicted—the enlistment, recruitment, and use of children under the age of 15 to participate in hostilities, which exploited the vulnerability of the victims—require that he serves the full term of his 14-year sentence. He should remain in detention,” stated … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Les juges refusent de réduire la peine de M. Lubanga prononcée par la CPI

Les juges de la chambre d’appel de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) ont rejeté une demande de réduction de la peine de Thomas Lubanga, le chef de milice congolais condamné, en 2013, à une peine de prison de 14 ans. Le mois dernier, la Cour a tenu une audience pour réexaminer sa peine, y compris la possibilité d’une libération anticipée.

Aujourd’hui, les juges Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (juge présidente), Howard Morrison et Piotr Hofmański ont unanimement décidé qu’il n’y avait pas lieu de réduire la peine de M. Lubanga pour le moment. Le prochain réexamen de la question de la réduction de peine aura lieu dans deux ans.

Bien que les juges aient conclu qu’il existait des perspectives de resocialisation et de réinsertion réussie … Continue Reading

1 Comment