The International Criminal Court delivers its first judgment

On 14th March 2012, the International Criminal Court Trial Chamber delivered its first judgment in a milestone case Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. Dyilo was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of being the co-perpetrator of war crimes including the widespread recruitment of boys and girls under the age 15 to actively participate in an armed group in the hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo within the meaning of Article 8(2)(e)(vii) of the Rome Statute between 1st September 2002 and 13th August 2003. This involved the Force patriotique pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Force for the Liberation of the Congo) (FPLC), led by Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, against the Armée Populaire Congolaise and other militias, including the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri. Children in military camps underwent harsh training regimes and severe punishments, and female soldiers were subjected to sexual assault and rape. Dyilo was found guilty according to Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute, which states that a person will be held criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person “commits such a crime, whether individually, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible.”

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