Lubanga case: Trial Chamber II issues additional decision on reparations
On 15 December 2017, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision setting the amount of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo's liability for collective reparations at USD 10,000,000. The decision completes the Order for Reparations of 3 March 2015 in the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, which awarded collective reparations to the victims of the war crimes committed by Mr Lubanga, namely: conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 into an armed group (Union des patriotes congolais/Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo) and using them to participate actively in hostilities.
The Chamber examined a sample of 473 applications representative of all of the victims potentially eligible for reparations and concluded that 425 of them were most likely direct or indirect victims of the crimes of which Mr Lubanga was convicted. The Chamber stated, however, that further evidence established the existence of hundreds or even thousands of additional victims affected by Mr Lubanga's crimes. The Chamber also stated in this respect that some potential victims were no longer willing or able to take part in the reparations process for safety reasons.
The Chamber recalled that the scope of a convicted person's liability is proportionate to the harm caused and, among other things, his or her participation in the commission of the crimes for which he or she has been found guilty, in the specific circumstances of the case. The Chamber further recalled that only collective reparations were awarded in this case. The Chamber assessed the harm suffered by the aforementioned 425 persons recognized as victims of Mr Lubanga at USD 3,400,000, and equitably assessed Mr Lubanga's liability exclusive of the harm suffered by those persons at USD 6,600,000 – bringing the total amount of Mr Lubanga's liability for collective reparations to USD 10,000,000.
In view of Mr Lubanga's indigence, the Chamber invited the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims to examine the possibility of earmarking an additional amount for the implementation of collective reparations in this case and/or continuing its efforts to raise additional funds. The Chamber also instructed the Trust Fund to make contact with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to explore how the Government might contribute to the reparations process.
On 21 October 2016, the Chamber had approved the implementation of symbolic collective reparations and, on 6 April 2017, it had approved the first stage of the implementation of service-based collective reparations, directing the Trust Fund to begin the selection of implementing partners (after which the Chamber may approve the second stage of the implementation process). The Chamber will decide in due course on the next steps in the implementation of collective reparations.
The members of the Trial Chamber II Bench are Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut (Presiding Judge), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Judge Péter Kovács. The Chamber issued its decision publicly in a hearing at the seat of the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands. The Legal Representatives of both groups of victims, the Office of Public Counsel for Victims, the Defence and the Trust Fund were in attendance.
"Ask the Court" audio-visual programme
- YouTube (for viewing): English; Français
- Video for download: English; Français
- Audio for download: English; Français
Background: Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was a founder of the Union des patriotes congolais (Union of Congolese Patriots or UPC) – of which he was once president – and the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo or FPLC) – of which he was Commander-in-Chief. On 14 March 2012, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court found him guilty as co‑perpetrator of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting 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 a total of 14 years' imprisonment. On 1 December 2014, the Appeals Chamber confirmed both his conviction and his 14‑year prison sentence. On 19 December 2015, Mr Lubanga was transferred to Makala Prison in the DRC to serve his sentence.
For more information on this case, click here
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)64 644-8938 or by email at: [email protected]