The Lubanga Reparations Decision: A Missed Opportunity?
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In March 2012 the ICC delivered its first and long-awaited judgment in Prosecutor v Lubanga. Trial Chamber I found Thomas Lubanga guilty as co-perpetrator of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children into the armed forces. The guilty verdict was followed by a reparations decision on 7 August 2012. This article examines the extent to which the ICC has successfully fulfilled its mandate to formulate reparations principles. The position of reparations within international law generally is discussed. This is followed by an explanation of how the ICC reparation regime functions. The bifurcated reparations mandate of the ICC is also explained. The focus of the article is on a critical assessment of the Lubanga reparations decision. The Court’s treatment of the harm requirement and the requirement of causation is examined. It is argued that the Court’s failure to clarify the requirements of “harm” and “causation” meant that it did not fulfil its mandate to formulate reparations principles.
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