ICC Issued Guilty Verdict for Congolese Warlord Guilty Who Used Child Soldiers

According to The Washington Post, the ICC issued its first verdict in its 10 year history Wednesday against a Congolesewarlord for using child soldiers.

Thomas Lubanga will be sentenced later this year and faces a maximum of life in prison.

This verdict is hailed as a “legal landmark in the fight against impunity for the world’s most serious crimes,” according to the article. It came at a time when the ICC is facing scrutiny for its lack of ability to arrest and convict people suspected of committing grave war crimes, like Joseph Kony whose face became a household name with the recent KONY 2012 video. The ICC is also facing a lot of scrutiny for not being able to intervene in the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The ICC can only open investigations into countries that have recognized its jurisdiction in their country, and only 120 countries have done so. Syria is not one of them, which means that the ICC has no authority to investigate. The ICC can also launch an investigation if a state not party to the Rome Statute wasto accept the ICC’s jurisdiction or at the request of the U.N. Security Council. However, the U.N. Security Council has not been able to make such a request because its members are deadlocked.

The U.N. Security Council consists of five permanent members- China, U.S., U.K., Russia and France- and 10 non-permanent members. Russia and China have vetoed efforts to refer the case to the ICC, and since all five permanent members have to agree, the case has not been referred.

So far, all seven of the court’s investigations have been in Africa.

 

related article: Reuters and The Guardian

 

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to ICC Issued Guilty Verdict for Congolese Warlord Guilty Who Used Child Soldiers

  1. Pingback: ‘Not a country’: ICC blocks Palestine war crimes probe « This Day – One Day

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