International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Lubanga’s convicted! So what now?

It is always easy to discuss the violent part of a crisis and even the legal proceedings which follow.  There exists a level of uncertainty that excites us that are so far removed from the actuality of the events.  Congo is one war torn country that has seen a major perpetrated brought to justice but despite the conviction of Thomas Lubanga there is no immediate revival of “normal” life within the Congo. 

The ICTJ released an article discussing the future for reparations for victim and reminding us that, “Article 75(I) of the Rome Statute requires the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “establish principles relating to reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation” for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity”

The article is rather vague insofar as there is only so much precedent for the management of reparations and each country has a different set of cultural standards which make transitional justice so difficult.  That said I would like this post to open up thoughts on how the ICC should progress with regards to reparations in the Congo and how the Congolese government should reach out to the victim communities.  Naturally this topic can expand to the management of reparations as a whole.



2 responses to “Lubanga’s convicted! So what now?

  1. Alana Tiemessen April 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Great post Brian. To expand on your question, reparations can provided to individual survivors that are directly connected to Lubanga’s crimes and/or collectively to war-affected communities in eastern Congo. What sort of reparations would be more just and more effective?

  2. c131178n April 26, 2012 at 11:02 am

    According to what we have learned in the course, ICC is now running several projects in the DRC for assistance to victims of sexual violence and child soldiers, and assistance to communities victimized by massacres. In the report “Learning from the TFV’s second mandate from implementing rehabilitation and assistance to reparations”, they appeal their success by stating that “about 42,300 are benefiting directly from the TFV’s general assistance in both DRC and Uganda” and “the TFV estimates that an additional 182,000 of their family members are benefiting indirectly through the improved wellbeing and reduced stigma that our assistance promotes.” The content of the assistance program seems practically effective and both individually and group oriented. This gave me an impression that material reparations from the international community are relatively well implemented. Even though material reparations are still not enough victim for full mobilization, I think, what the ICC should do next is to encourage the Congolese government to implement a symbolic reparations. Despite the fact that the ICC jurisdiction is limited to Lubanga’s crimes, by this way, more victims can be included and acknowledged.

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