A banner year for victims’ reparations at the International Criminal Court?

13 January 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Despite lingering uncertainties, the final convictions of two Congolese warlords raises hopes that this year victims will see reparations handed to them by the International Criminal Court.

Germaine Katanga at International Criminal Court. Copyright Flickr/ICC-CPI
Image caption: 
Germaine Katanga was sentenced by the ICC to 12 years of imprisonment in May 2014 (Flickr/ICC-CPI)

The Hague-based court is the first in the history of international criminal justice that can order a convicted perpetrator to pay reparations to victims. Two cases currently meet the criteria. In December, the appeals chamber confirmed the conviction [IJT-171] of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. In 2012, he was found guilty of war crimes for enlisting, conscripting and using child soldiers – mostly from his ethnic group, the Hema – during the wars in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second case is that of Germain Katanga [IJT-159, 1JT-160IJT-163], whose rebel group had been fighting Lubanga’s militias. Katanga was convicted last March of crimes against humanity and war crimes for a 2003 attack on the predominantly Hema village of Bogoro.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.