Ten years after its formation, the International Criminal Court sentenced Thomas Dyilo Lubanga, rebel commander from Congo, to 14 years imprisonment, for the recruiting and deployment of child soldiers. In the course of the trial, the court also agreed on reparations for Lubanga's victims to relieve their suffering, to prevent repeating violence and reintegrate child soldiers and foster reconciliation. But can these important and vital aims be reached through the court's decision on reparations?
In HSFK-Standpunkt No. 5/2013 "Gerechtigkeit für die Opfer? Anspruch und Wirklichkeit der Reparationsverhandlungen vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof", Eva Ottendörfer questions under which conditions the mandate of the International Criminal Court, to decide on reparations, can succeed and bring justice for the victims.
She argues that a major task for the court is to ensure that as many victims as possible receive the reparations and that they are distributed equally.
An unequal, selective distribution of reparations could harm societal peace in extreme cases.
The HSFK-Standpunkt is available as a free download.