On July 10, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first ever sentence from a courtroom in the Hague. The court found Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of using children as soldiers in his rebel force, and sentenced him to 14 years in prison. Many people think that Lubanga’s sentence is too light, and that he should have received the maximum 30-year sentence that the ICC can deliver.

In a statement from the Office of the Prosecutor, the new ICC Chief Prosecutor discusses the next steps that they hope to take to ensure justice is delivered in full.

The Prosecution is now studying the Judgment in detail and will consider whether or not to appeal. The Prosecution is also expecting to hear the judges’ decision on reparations in order to ensure the victims of Lubanga’s crimes see the full scale of justice.

If there is one thing that Invisible Children has learned from watching the Lubanga trial unfold, it is that the justice process is a slow but worthwhile one. During the trial and deliberations, there is a need for evidence that is directly tied to the accused in order to ensure that justice is delivered. In the case of Lubanga, there was difficulty in proving that he intended to use child soldiers or that abuses against children under the age of 15 in his army were actually ordered and carried out by him.

Our hope is that international efforts from governments and human rights groups are robust and sufficient enough to gather solid evidence against Joseph Kony in order to guarantee that justice is delivered once he is captured and put on trial in the ICC.

This 30-minute video, released by the ICC, is a full recording of the ruling. It can seem a little dry, but it’s worth a watch.


(Photo credit: CSMonitor)