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Ntaganda case: ICC Trial Chamber VI orders reparations for victims

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Today, 8 March 2021, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) delivered in a public hearing its Order on Reparations to victims under article 75 of the Rome Statute in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda.

Judge Chang-ho Chung, Presiding Judge in the reparations proceedings, read a summary of the Order for reparations against Mr Ntaganda, to be made through the Trust Fund for Victims.

The Chamber, composed of Judge Chang-ho Chung, Judge Robert Fremr, and Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia, recalled the large scope of the case and the potential large number of victims eligible to receive reparations. In light of the circumstances of the case and bearing in mind the rights of the convicted person, the Chamber set the total reparations award for which Mr Ntaganda is liable at USD 30,000,000.

The Chamber also found Mr Ntaganda to be indigent for the purposes of reparations and encouraged the Trust Fund for Victims to complement the reparation awards to the extent possible within its available resources and to engage in additional fundraising efforts as necessary to complement the totality of the award.

The Chamber, established that, in light of the crimes for which Mr Ntaganda was convicted, eligible victims include: direct and indirect victims of the attacks, of crimes against child soldiers, of rape and sexual slavery, and children born out of rape and sexual slavery. It also defined the harms caused to victims, describing the great suffering and long-lasting consequences they suffered.

The Chamber noted that it decided to award collective reparations with individualised components, considering that they were the most appropriate type of reparations for this case, as they may provide a more holistic approach to address the multi-faceted harm suffered by the large number of victims eligible to receive reparations.

The modalities of reparations may include measures of restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, and satisfaction, which may incorporate, when appropriate, a symbolic, preventative, or transformative value. The Trust Fund for Victims was instructed to design a draft implementation plan on the basis of all the modalities of reparations identified in the Order, in consultation with the victims.

The Chamber noted that priority shall be given to individuals who require immediate medical and psychological care, victims with disabilities and the elderly, victims of sexual or gender-based violence, victims who are homeless or experiencing financial hardship, as well as children born out of rape and sexual slavery and former child soldiers.

The Chamber issued the Order particularly acknowledging the suffering of victims sexual and gender based violence and adopting additional Principles that should guide every step of the reparation process including, among others, a Gender-inclusive and sensitive approach to reparations, requiring the Court to give due consideration and address the specific needs of all individuals, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender identity.

In its Order, the Chamber also set deadlines for the Trust Fund for victims to submit its general draft implementation plan by 8 September 2021, at the latest, and an urgent plan for the priority victims no later than 8 June 2021.

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