Lubanga case: ICC judges approve plan on symbolic reparations
Today, 21 October 2016, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") approved and ordered to start the implementation of a plan submitted by the Trust Fund for Victims ("TFV") for symbolic collective reparations for the victims in relation with the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. Mr Lubanga was found guilty of the war crimes of the enlistment and conscription of children under the age of 15 in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The TFV was ordered to file a report every three months.
The Chamber agreed with the TFV that the implementation of symbolic reparations "paves the way for the social acceptance of reparations awards in the affected communities". The Chamber will issue its decision on collective reparations programmes, which are not of symbolic nature, in due course.
Trial Chamber II, composed of Judges Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Presiding Judge, Olga Herrera Carbuccia, and Péter Kovács, considered the views presented by the different participants during the hearings conducted on 11 and 13 October 2016, carefully studied the TFV filing of 19 September 2016, and concurred with the TFV that the proposed symbolic reparations project "provide for an enabling environment to develop and implement service-based collective reparations awards" and "creates a safe environment for victims to come forward and voluntarily participate in the service-based collective awards without undue fear for their safety or reputation".
The Chamber also expressed its wishes to turn the TFV's attention to study the possibility of expanding its project beyond the five proposed localities referred to in paragraph 39 of its 19 September 2016 Filing, in order to cover, to the extent possible, the Ituri region.
Background: Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was found guilty on 14 March 2012, as co-perpetrator, of committing the war crimes of the enlistment and conscription of children under the age of 15 into the FPLC and using them to participate actively in hostilities between September 2002 and August 2003. On 10 July 2012, he was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. On 1 December 2014, the verdict and the sentence in the case were confirmed by the Appeals Chamber. On 19 December 2015, Mr Lubanga was transferred to a prison facility in the DRC to serve his sentence of imprisonment.
On 7 August 2012, Trial Chamber I issued a decision on the principles and the process to be implemented for reparations to victims. On 3 March 2015, the Appeals Chamber amended the Trial Chamber's order for reparations and instructed the TFV to present a draft implementation plan for collective reparations to the newly constituted Trial Chamber. On 15 July 2016, Trial Chamber II invited States and organizations with extensive knowledge of the social-cultural context of the crimes and groups of victims to provide additional observations for the Chamber. On 11 and 13 October 2016, the Chamber held a public hearing, to hear submissions of the NGOs Women's Initiatives and Child soldiers International and of the Legal representatives of victims, the Office of Public Counsel for Victims, the TFV and the Defence in reply to these submissions.
Order approving the proposed plan of the Trust Fund for Victims in relation to symbolic collective reparations
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