Well it did take a decade and piles of money for the International Criminal Court to get a conviction. And now the Congolese warlord who destroyed the lives of so many children
forcing them to be child soldiers or sex slaves will be locked away. But of course others like him still operate. So is this a blow to impunity? Or just an anomaly that underlines … most of them get-away? Today, we’re asking just how much justice we get with the ICC.
Part One of The Current
It's Friday, March 15th.
10 years and a billion dollars later, the International Criminal Court has made its first conviction.
Currently, the court was forced to convict itself after taking so long and spending so much.
This is The Current.
International Criminal Court Track Record
The chamber has reached it's decision unanimously. The chamber concludes, that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Thomas Lubanga is guilty of the crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years into the FPLC and using them to participate actively in hostilities from early September 2002 to the 13th of August 2003.
And with that, the International Criminal Court issued its first conviction. The conviction of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga for turning children into fighters was celebrated by Human rights groups around the world.
But it also underscored what critics say is a dismal track record for the ICC. The court employs more than 750 people, and in its 10 years of existence, has spent more than 1 billion dollars. And so far .... there is just that one conviction under its belt.
So is the court just plain inefficient? Or does bringing war criminals like Lubanga to justice simply take that kind of time and money?
Erna Paris has been watching developments at the International Criminal Court closely. She is the author of Sun Climbs Slow: The International Court and the Struggle for Justice, and she joined us in our Toronto studio. And William Schabas is a Canadian, who is professor in International Law at Middlesex University in London, England. He's written more than 20 books on international criminal law and his work was cited in yesterday's judgment five times.
This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar, Alisha Parchment and Heather Barrett, St. John's CBC Producer.
Other segments from today's show: