Dissimilar Justice: International Criminal Court Reparations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo



The International Criminal Court has ordered reparations five total times, with three of those cases taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although each defendant committed their crimes during the same conflict and in the same district, the ICC ordered vastly different reparations across the three cases. Drawing from both primary and secondary material, this paper concludes that the dissimilarity between ICC Reparations Orders in the DRC is the result of an interaction between several causal factors, including victim identity, victim participation, the crime(s) committed by the defendant, reparation type legitimacy, the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and feasibility, and Court evolution.

Introductory Note

The Rome Statute, which entered into force in 2002, established the International Criminal Court (ICC), along with victims’ right to reparations. Article 75 of the Statute states that “the Court may make an order directly against a convicted person specifying appropriate reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation.” Since its inception, the ICC has ordered reparations in five cases—three of which are from the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, and The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. Each defendant in these cases perpetrated horrific acts of violence in the Second Congolese War and/or shortly thereafter between 2002 and 2003 in the Ituri district of the Orientale province. Thus, each crime was committed within the same general context and many of their victims overlapped. Despite this, the ICC-mandated reparations were vastly different across the three cases. In one case, for instance, the Court issued collective service-based and symbolic reparations, whereas the other two cases resulted in different mixtures of individual and collective reparations. This presents a dilemma because while the Court requires that “the way reparations are addressed in any case before the Court need to be tailored to the particular circumstance of that case,” each case from the DRC took place within a similar context. 

This research thus seeks to explain the variation between Reparations Orders mandated by the ICC in the Situation in the DRC, specifically in The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, and The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. The answer is a variety of interacting causes, including victim identity, victim participation, the crime(s) committed by the defendant, reparation type legitimacy, the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and feasibility, and Court evolution—each of which will be expanded upon later. While there is a notable amount of scholarship on ICC reparations and on each individual case—particularly The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga—there is little scholarship that frames the DRC as a single case study. This is especially true since the Reparations Order from the most recent case, The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, was only released in March of 2021. This paper is thus framed as a single case study of ICC Reparations Orders in the DRC. Each case will be addressed in chronological order to illustrate the specific contexts of the cases and how the Court built precedent over time.

This scholarship is necessary to gain a deeper understanding of how international criminal justice and reparations function across ICC Situations, as well as how the international community can improve transitional justice practices. While international criminal justice is not a novel field of international law, the ICC itself is relatively new, and its reparations regime even newer. It is important to critically reflect upon and evaluate its processes in order to ensure that its procedures and practices are as effective as possible.


The backdrop for our puzzle is the ICC’s significant lack of procedural clarity and problematic inclusion of victims—notable points of criticism for many legal scholars. Critiques of reparations in theory and practice, however, will not be addressed, as this paper is not an evaluation of reparations, nor will critiques of the Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) disproportionate focus on Africa be explored. W     hile well founded, they are not relevant to this particular paper. Rather, the purpose of this piece is to evaluate the Court itself and what led it to make certain decisions. A discussion of the Court’s procedural faults establishes proper context for what led the Court to issue different reparations in each case from the DRC. 

Most notably, the ICC has serious inconsistencies between its procedures and overall goals. Balta et al., for example, argue that the Court’s ability to implement reparations is hindered by both “procedural and conceptual challenges”—a sentiment which is similarly reflected by Kotecha. Balta et al. further contend that the incompatibility between the Court’s procedures and goals is derived from three distinct factors: “(1) the narrowly defined charges against the accused which in turn dictate reparations; (2) the low number of beneficiaries, in contrast with the large number of victims; and (3) accountability of the accused.” Ultimately, Balta et al. argue, the Court seeks to implement restorative justice when in reality its procedures are designed to reach verdicts on criminal charges. In other words, criminal justice and victim justice are not synonymous. Demonstrative of this fact is the difficulty the ICC and the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV)—the ICC’s reparations advising and implementing body—have in cooperating with one another, which is due to their vastly different mandates and practices. This hybrid regime, Lambert argues, is ineffective because it prevents the ICC as an institution from realizing a cohesive ideology. Kotecha echoes these concerns, further asserting that the OTP cannot reach the “fairest” decision because it is dually concerned with prosecution and public perception, which can often be in contradiction with one another. The Court believes it must speak for a wide range of groups simultaneously, including a nonspecific and broadly defined “international community,” potential perpetrators, governments, and victims. As a result, it is uncertain of its ultimate goals. This conflict between ICC procedure and goals establishes context for the Court’s reparations decision making process. 

In addition to the dichotomy between its punitive and restorative justice aims, the International Criminal Court also has a history of inconsistent procedures and practices when it comes to victim inclusion—a critical explanatory cause in this research. Victim participation in this paper refers to the extent to which identified victims play an active role in Court proceedings and/or the Trust Fund for Victims’ (TFV) work as individuals, groups, and/or via official legal representation. Victim participation in international criminal law is still an emerging practice—making the Rome Statute revolutionary in this vein, because “for the first time in the history of international criminal justice, victims have the possibility under the Statute to present their views and observations before the Court.” For example, as noted by Evans, victims were completely excluded from the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials following World War II. Several decades later, although victims were paid greater attention, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) were still criticized for how little victims were permitted to actively participate in case proceedings. Such criticisms helped catalyze the norm change under the Rome Statute. Now, due to this monumental shift, recognized victims have a significant stake in the ICC. Nevertheless, there continues to be fervent disagreement about whether or not this high level of participation ultimately benefits victims and provides them with adequate justice.

This debate is largely rooted in the fact that the ICC currently has “no formal rules governing” its victim inclusion practices, and instead chooses to take a case-by-case approach. This case-by-case approach can lead to victim inclusion practices that are potentially subjective and inaccurate. In addition to procedural inconsistencies it is extremely difficult to “properly” determine who counts as an eligible victim in the instance of mass atrocities. For instance, Keller specifically points to the possible hundreds of thousands of victims in just the DRC alone, and that identifying each victim, documenting exact harms suffered, and distributing sufficient reparations is a near impossible task. Then, due to the astronomical number of potential victims, the Court becomes extremely backlogged. This backlog is worsened by the ICC’s limited resources and the complexity of the victim participation application. This phenomenon will be discussed extensively throughout this paper because the ways in which victims participated in each case hugely determined the outcome of reparations.Several scholars argue this inability to reconcile punishment and restoration stems from an inherent issue in the way the ICC conceptualizes justice. Mégret believes this to be because the Court is modeled off of state domestic criminal courts, which explicitly prioritize prosecution over restoration. The American University Washington College of Law’s (WCL) War Crimes Research Office echoes this sentiment, stating that “treating ICC victims as closely as possible to “parties civiles” may not, in fact, be the best way to serve restorative justice goals.” Essentially, the ICC approaches the prosecution of mass atrocities and victims of said atrocities in the same manner that a domestic court would approach a criminal suit. Other scholars, such as Dean and Sander, add that because of this prosecutorial focus, victims are not treated as serious stakeholders but simply as moral legitimizers of the tribunal itself, or a justification for the institution’s existence. This conceptual confusion results in “a clear subordination of the interests of victims to the adjudicative needs of the tribunals, whose primary function remained the determination of the culpability of the accused on trial.” In order to atone for this discrepancy, powerful actors imagine victims as a symbol, rather than individuals with legitimacy and agency. Consequently, “the symbolic victim provides a rationale for the usurpation of victims’ voices by lawyers, human rights’ proponents, and politicians, and is thus also an alibi for the empowerment of voices other than those of the victims.” This loss of voice for victims is also a concept that will be explored in depth in this paper, as the ICC did not always listen to victims—especially during reparations proceedings.

Identified Concepts and Causal Factors

The outcome, or phenomenon that this research seeks to explain, is reparation type. As this paper solely addresses International Criminal Court reparations, the definition of reparations used in this research is limited to the definition outlined in the Rome Statute, which states that reparations for victims include “restitution, compensation and rehabilitation.” Reparations are meant to provide victims and the harms they suffered with proper acknowledgement and legitimacy. While reparations cannot always effectively repair damage, they are a critical aspect of the transitional justice process. It is also worth noting that scholars and legal experts have since devised more inclusive definitions that include rights to satisfaction, disclosure of the truth, guarantees of non-repetition, accountability, and peacebuilding.

Reparation type can be divided into three categories (which may be combined in a number of ways): individual, collective, and symbolic. Individual reparations refer to measures taken to assist victims on the individual level, whereas collective reparations seek to provide redress for entire victim groups. Symbolic reparations, on the other hand, are slightly more complicated. Although “by definition, all reparations have an important symbolic role,” explicitly symbolic reparations are usually less material in nature      and seek to provide victims with an intangible degree of satisfaction (harm recognition), as well as a guarantee of non-repetition. Some examples of symbolic reparations include “a statement of apology… creating dignified burial sites, [and] establishing rehabilitation and community centers.” 

In endeavoring to explain how the International Criminal Court ordered a different reparation type in each case, I have identified the following causal factors: victim identity, victim participation, the crime(s) committed by the defendant, reparation type legitimacy, the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and feasibility, and Court evolution. Victim participation has already been outlined extensively in the Background, so it will not be discussed too much until the findings section.           

First and foremost, we must address the concept of the “victim.” According to Rule 85 of the ICC’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence: 

(a) “Victims” means natural persons who have suffered harm as a result of the commission of any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

(b) Victims may include organizations or institutions that have sustained direct harm to any of their property which is dedicated to religion, education, art or science or charitable purposes, and to their historic monuments, hospitals and other places and objects for humanitarian purposes.

Essentially, the ICC recognizes any person or entity that has sustained harm from any crime outlawed by the Rome Statute, but this harm must have been done by the defendant in some capacity. The Court does not have the authority to provide reparations to persons who were not victimized by a convicted individual. This is, of course, because the ICC is a judicial body before a restorative or transitional justice organization. As such, the Court has divided victims into two categories for identification: there are “those who happen to be victims of defendants selected for prosecution by the Court, and those who are victims of the same conflict or situation but whose tormentors are not before the Court.” The ICC separates these types of victims into two distinct but overlapping categories: direct and indirect victims. While ICC reparations can only be issued for the victims of convicted defendants and their crimes, the Court has given indirect victims reparations because indirect victims still experience harm that resulted from a defendant’s actions. Unfortunately, however, it is extremely difficult to identify and categorize victims accordingly. The Court has attempted to define direct and indirect victims in each individual case, though it is worth noting that ICC judges are permitted to use their discretion when determining who constitutes a victim in a given case.

Now that we have clarified who exactly the International Criminal Court recognizes as a victim, it is crucial to define victim identity—a key cause in determining the outcome of reparations. Victim identity, for the purposes of this research, will be defined as: personal and social components of an individual victim and/or victim group, including age, gender, familial status, ethnicity, socio-economic status, place of origin and/or of residence, nationality, legal victim status, and perpetrator status. Age, ethnicity, and gender are especially prominent in this research, as these identifications played significant roles in shaping how victims experienced their individual and group traumas. Ethnicity, for instance, was a large consideration in all three cases, but especially those of Lubanga and Ntaganda, as the Court had to consider whether or not reparations for certain groups would escalate ethnic tensions.

Victim identity is further complicated by the phenomenon of perpetrator victims, otherwise known as guilty or “complex victims.” A complex victim is defined as “those who have been victimized but are responsible for victimizing others.” These victims are distinct from “innocent victims”, or “those who are not members of armed groups (i.e., civilians).” Many innocent victims and non-victims alike have understandably serious apprehensions about providing reparations to complex victims, and often find the idea deeply insulting. However, complex victims have been recognized as legitimate victims in several cases. For instance, both Lubanga and Ntaganda were convicted of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers. These child soldiers are considered direct victims of the defendants’ crimes who then went on to commit atrocities themselves. Under the International Criminal Court, these children are considered complex victims worthy of reparations. The victims of these child soldiers and/or the children’s families would then be considered indirect victims of the defendants. Identity is thus an incredibly important causal concept because identity contextualizes victims’ sufferings and helps dictate their immediate and long-term needs. It is also very tied to victim participation, as victims’ identities shape how they interact with the ICC and TFV. In other words, their identity informs their participation.

How well reparations can address victims’ needs is highly dependent on whether or not that form of reparations has legitimacy among victims—otherwise known as reparation type legitimacy. Reparation type legitimacy refers to perceptions or assumptions by victims that the actions of the International Criminal Court are desirable, proper, and/or appropriate within the socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions of the victim group. This definition draws upon and specifies Suchman’s conceptualization of legitimacy in social science. The legitimacy of different forms of reparations influences how effective that type of reparations is at repairing harm. This means that reparation type legitimacy is a more prominent causal factor in the Katanga and Ntaganda cases because they each occurred after Lubanga’s conviction. Thus, after the implementation of Lubanga and Katanga reparations, victims had the opportunity to observe the successes and failures of past reparations programs. 

Evidence shows, as we will explore, that the Court accounted for these failures and responded to shifts in reparation type legitimacy that arose as a result. For instance, although Western scholars and lawyers tend to view symbolic and transformative measures as more effective forms of reparations, “in the Katanga case the victims are more at odds with this approach, with the majority demanding individual compensation and finding collective and transformative measures ineffective as non-victimised members of the community were able to benefit.” In the Lubanga case, the Court ordered collective reparations, which inadvertently benefitted non-victims, which was not an entirely successful approach. Katanga’s victims were dissatisfied with the idea that non-victims, indirect victims, and/or complex victims could possibly benefit from reparations and adamantly advocated for individualized reparations. Thus, it is clear that collective reparations lost their legitimacy among victims. 

The Court’s response to each of the aforementioned causes signals institutional learning. The ICC is still a very novel organization and is continually learning from its successes and failures. In regard to reparations, specifically, the Court has been building upon and expanding its existing infrastructure when necessary as new cases arise. Court evolution is therefore defined as the ways in which the International Criminal Court and its programs expand, shrink, and/or change over time as the Court continues to learn and establish itself. The most prominent example of this evolution is the reparations program for former child soldiers in the Lubanga and Ntaganda cases. There were many overlapping victims across cases and, rather than rebuild new rehabilitation programs for former child soldiers, the Court utilized existing reparations infrastructure to address the needs of Ntaganda’s child soldier victims. This example will be explored in much greater detail in the analysis portion.

The crime(s) committed by the defendants also significantly affects the outcome of Reparations Orders. Thomas Lubanga, Germain Katanga, and Bosco Ntaganda all committed crimes during the Second Congolese War, however, the individual crime(s) they committed largely determined the type of reparations mandated by the ICC in each case. For example, a victim from the ICC’s Situation in the DRC is considered a victim of the Second Congolese War, but is first and foremost a victim of the crime(s) committed directly against them, such as pillaging or conscription and enlistment as a child soldier. In other words, the defendant’s crime(s) shape the specific context of each case, including victims’ unique experiences of harm and their subsequent reparations needs. Therefore, the specific crime(s) committed by defendants before the Court naturally influences the ICC’s reparations decision and implementation plan.

The final explanatory concept is the Trust Fund for Victims and reparations feasibility. The two are not entirely the same but are inherently related. The ICC itself is not actually responsible for implementing reparations and providing post-conflict support—that duty lies with the TFV. When issuing a Reparations Order, the Court must consider the Trust Fund’s capacity to implement reparations effectively—a capacity that is highly limited for a number of reasons, including but not limited to funding, victim identification issues, potential and/or persistent conflict etc. However, the Trust Fund is unique in that it has two separate mandates: the Reparations Mandate and the Assistance Mandate. The Reparations Mandate requires the TFV to implement Court-ordered reparations against a convicted person via “funds from the convicted person and/or [it] uses its voluntary contributions upon the Board of Director’s decision.” The Assistance Mandate refers to the TFV’s work to provide redress for the most vulnerable victims by partnering with non-governmental organizations and other local partners. The barriers to the TFV’s capacity to implement reparations will be explored in more detail in the analysis section. It is important to note that, unless otherwise specified, this paper will be referring to the Trust Fund’s Reparations Mandate because the Reparations Mandate is primarily responsible for carrying out a Court order for reparations.

Originally, Court legitimacy and politicization were identified as potential causal factors. However, they were ruled out because there was not enough evidence to support these theories, nor did they necessarily fit the lens used in this research. Firstly, Court legitimacy was not a significant enough factor because the International Criminal Court already views itself as a legitimate institution and operates as such. While its legitimacy is frequently questioned by outside groups, including victims, the Court itself does not call its own legitimacy into question when issuing decisions. Perceptions of Court legitimacy can influence how well reparations are received, but this would not fall under reparation type legitimacy. Politicization was a factor in leading to the outcome of reparations but can also be categorized under other identified causes. For example, rivalry between political factions in the DRC is key to understanding each crime committed, as each defendant was part of a militia involved in a complex conflict. Political differences are also central to feasibility, as many politically charged tensions, such as land disputes, hindered the TFV’s capacity to implement reparations programs.


This case study primarily draws from a constructivist ontology and epistemology. In forming my theory and concepts, I heavily relied upon the idea of “mutual constitution [emphasis added]”—or multicausality—and emphasized the study of “intersubjectivity, context, and power.” In analyzing my data, I also stressed interpretive causality. Mass atrocities, international criminal tribunals, and reparations are extremely complex phenomena that are inextricably linked to a multitude of intersubjective perspectives and discourses, contexts, and power structures. For instance, victim identity and the crimes committed against those victims create victims’ contextual realities and perspectives. The ICC had to then weigh these often competing, intersubjective perspectives when making its decisions. As such, an attempt to explain what led the ICC to order reparations in each case cannot be approached using neo-positivist methods.

Thus, rather than focusing on data collection, I emphasized multicausal data generation and interpretation. In doing so, I almost exclusively analyzed primary source documents, namely Court records and official ICC press releases. In searching for and selecting documents, I began by using the ICC database’s search tool, in which I specifically narrowed down my search to documents related to the reparations/compensation phase of the three cases. After finding my initial set of documents, I largely relied on snowball sampling because the ICC routinely cites itself. Thus, valuable information in one document frequently referenced related valuable information in another document. Information that I generated was categorized using both deductive and inductive coding. I began with a set of predetermined causal concepts that I initially theorized and deductively identified in my data. Nonetheless, after sifting through several sources, I discovered other causes that I had not previously accounted for, such as victim identity—particularly the importance of ethnic identity—and transitioned to using a combined deductive and inductive coding strategy. 

There are several limitations to this research, with the most outstanding being that of breadth. The ICC’s court records database contains thousands of documents just for the Situation in the DRC. Many of these documents are incredibly long and complex. Discerning which documents were worth reading was extremely difficult, and I was limited in my capacity to examine all of them. Moreover, full transcripts of victim testimonies have not been translated into English and, as a non-French speaker, I was unable to use them. However, I am confident that I selected my sources well based on snowball sampling, as it quickly became clear which documents the Court frequently cited in its own records—indicating which documents were the most important. I am also confident that my analysis is highly plausible considering my strong interpretation and emphasis on mutual constitution, and I was able to draw connections between causes throughout my data to uncover a multilayered causal story.

Case Analysis

Brief Background

The Second Congolese War, sometimes referred to as the “African World War,” officially lasted from 1998-2003, but severe violence is still ongoing throughout the DRC. Brutal fighting initially broke out when a Rwandan and Ugandan-backed rebel group known as the Rassemblement Congolais Democratique (RCD) tried and failed to oust Congolese President Laurent-Desiré Kabila in 1998. However, he was eventually assassinated in 2001 and replaced by his son, Joseph Kabila. In 1999, the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement was signed and UN Peacekeepers were deployed, but these efforts failed to end the violence. Many more militias were formed throughout the conflict, with up to fourteen armies fighting simultaneously—making peacebuilding efforts extremely difficult. A series of peace agreements were finally signed in 2002 and 2003 officially ending the war, but violence continued to occur.The war is frequently referred to as an “interethnic conflict,” as many of the rebel groups formed based on shared ethnic identities and prejudices. However, contrary to popular belief, these tensions are not rooted in “traditional” or “ancestral” differences, but rather socio-economic inequities that largely originated during the Belgian colonial rule over Zaire (now the DRC). The colonial regime unequally divided land and other economic resources among ethnic groups, favoring some over others. Tensions between these groups were then exaggerated by foreign influence during the war itself—primarily that of Rwanda and Uganda. Each ICC case explored in this paper is situated within this general context, but more specifically, in the Ituri district, where the fighting was especially gruesome and politically complex. Hence, our dilemma. Although the defendants operated concurrently and under very similar circumstances, the outcome of reparations varied widely. In the following sections I will discuss the defendant’s crimes in the order in which they were handled by the ICC. The Lubanga case will be discussed in the most detail, as it is the oldest Congolese case and, therefore, has much more available information than the other two cases.

The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo

Thomas Lubanga is a founding member and former leader of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) militia group and its military apparatus, the Force patriotique pour la libération du Congo (FPLC), also known as the Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo. In 2012, the International Criminal Court, found him “responsible, as co-perpetrator, for the charges of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen years into the FPLC and using them to participate actively in hostilities… from early September 2002 to 2 June 2003.” Lubanga’s war crimes conviction was monumental because it was the International Criminal Court’s first verdict. The ICC announced its initial order for reparations in August of 2012 titled the Decision, establishing the principles and procedures to be applied to reparations, but released an amended Reparations Order in 2015. Reparations finally ordered against Lubanga were “collective service-based” reparations—including tangible measures such as “mental & physical health services to address the trauma and bodily harm suffered” and “vocational training to account for the absence of skills learned during development years.” Underneath the umbrella of collective service-based reparations, the Trust Fund for Victims also implemented more symbolic gestures, such as the “construction of symbolic structures” and “a mobile programme to host interactive symbolic activities and to reduce stigma against former child soldiers.” 

A foremost concern in deciding reparations in this case was the potential for conflict escalation due to victims’ ethnic identity, as well as their status as former child soldiers, who are considered complex victims and highly stigmatized. The majority of victims were members of the Hema ethnic group, as Thomas Lubanga primarily conscripted children from his own ethnic community. Many involved parties were thus worried that reparations would be regarded as ethnic favoritism. These groups were also concerned that many Congolese people would be angered by the awarding of reparations to child soldiers, whom they primarily view as perpetrators. Despite it being an internally recognized crime, child recruitment is also not always viewed as inherently wrong in select areas, thus meaning that child soldiers are not necessarily seen as victims to begin with. As such, most victims involved in the proceedings, along with their legal representation, advocated for individualized reparations. However, several of these groups still acknowledged that collective reparations had the potential to de-stigmatize former child soldiers. It is therefore clear that the specific crime committed by the defendant—that of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers—played a significant role in shaping the outcome of reparations. 

In attempting to come to a decision, the Trial Chamber heard advice from several interested parties, including victims. Throughout both the trial and post-trial phases, a total of 146 people were recognized as victims and permitted to participate in the proceedings. Victims were represented by the Legal Representatives of the Victims—a team of external legal counsel who represented two separate groups of victims referred to as V01 and V02, and the Office of Public Counsel for Victims (OPCV)—a team that represented victims “unrepresented” and unidentifiable applicants. Most of the teams consulted argued in favor of individualized reparations largely due to the previously stated concerns. For example:

The legal representatives of the V01 group of victims submit that the majority of the individuals they represent contend that collective reparations are difficult to apply to former child soldiers because they are not a cohesive group, and they are often in conflict with their own communities… it would be illogical to award reparations for the benefit of the Hema community as a whole, and this would be unfair to other communities. However, they support collective reparations as a means of reintegrating former child soldiers.

It is evident here that victims themselves were generally opposed to collectivized reparations because they feared that collective reparations primarily given to Hema children would be viewed as reparations for the Hema community exclusively. Although the ICC can only issue reparations for victims of crimes committed by the defendants, the potential for perceived ethnic favoritism could escalate already highly precarious ethnic relations. Moreover, the V01 team emphasized that child soldiers, despite sharing an ethnic identity, are not a cohesive group and have vastly different needs due to the specific harms suffered as a result of their conscription. As such, in one interview with victims “twelve of the fourteen interviewees consider that individual financial compensation, even though limited, would be useful to them or even necessary.” Many victims felt that individual financial assistance would be more beneficial to them, as it would help avoid further ethnic confrontation and allow them to address their own needs. 

Nonetheless, the V01 team recognized that collective reparations would be beneficial for de-stigmatization. In the same interview, victims confirmed this sentiment:

The majority of former child soldiers in group V01 (9 of 12) thus support the idea of an outreach campaign in the community to combat the unsavoury reputation of former child soldiers (bad, violent or delinquent boys, “sullied” girls) and to encourage respect for and solidarity with these victims. This view is shared by the two parents who were consulted. The creation of a memorial to the children who died in combat and to denounce the horror of recruitment of children was also well received by the victims (10 of 14). 

Child soldiers are evidently complex victims. Male child soldiers in particular often maintain, at least in part, their perpetrator status. Female child soldiers, on the other hand, are frequently viewed as tainted because many of them faced sexual violence throughout their service in the UPC/FPLC. Thus, the Court looked favorably upon efforts to reintegrate former child soldiers back into their communities, as well as call attention to victim suffering. The de-stigmatization effort would preferably be two pronged: one part would attempt to demonstrate to the general Congolese population why conscripting child soldiers is harmful and worthy of criminalization, while the other aspect would seek to facilitate reconciliation between child soldiers and their communities. Victims also advocated for commemoration or memorialization measures—forms of symbolic reparations—that would acknowledge and legitimize the suffering of former child soldiers.

Such attitudes were similarly reflected by the V02 team, who also argued in favor of individual reparations but recognized the importance of collectivized aspects:

Although the legal representatives of the V02 group of victims argue in favour of individual reparations, they submit that collective reparations could serve to avoid a negative perception of child soldiers on the part of other members of their communities; they would be open to child soldiers who did not participate in the proceedings; and they may deter child recruitment.

Like the V01 team, the V02 group confirmed that victims desired individual reparations because individual reparations were seen as the best way of addressing individual harms suffered. Furthermore, both groups posited that collective reparations could play a role in helping to de-stigmatize former child soldiers. However, the V02 group made an additional contribution to the conversation, stating that collective reparations would benefit victims who did not have the unique opportunity of participating in Court proceedings or had been yet to be identified. This is noteworthy because the majority of victims were unable to participate in the proceedings, and it would be woefully unfair if only participating victims were granted reparations. 

Although many victims and their legal representation stated that collective and/or symbolic reparations may be beneficial for them, individual reparations carried much more legitimacy among victims. Despite this, the Trust Fund for Victims argued for an almost entirely collective approach, contending that:

The source of funding may affect whether there should be an individual or collective award… Additionally, the TFV submits that individual awards which are dependent on successful applications to participate may not be the most appropriate approach in the present case, given only a small number of victims are currently participating and they are not necessarily representative of the wider group of victims. It is estimated that thousands of individuals are believed to have been victims in the district of Ituri and it would be a resource intensive and time-consuming undertaking for the Court to attempt to assess the position of each of them.

The TFV’s primary concern was how to realistically address victim needs, and thus      considered practical limitations. Funding for reparations in the Lubanga case was extremely limited because “the convicted person has been declared indigent and no assets or property have been identified that can be used for the purposes of reparations.” The Court would preferably draw from the perpetrators’ personal assets to fund reparations, but Lubanga’s fiscal situation prevented him from being financially liable. Thus, the TFV had to rely on external financing to implement reparations, which impaired its ability to implement individualized reparations. Moreover, the ICC would likely be unsuccessful if it tried to identify every single victim. Thus, keeping in mind the Court’s final decision, it seems that feasibility significantly overruled what victims advocated for.

After hearing each of these arguments presented before it, the Trial Chamber issued its Decision establishing the principles and procedures to be applied to reparations in 2012, in which the ICC issued collective reparations for identified direct and indirect victims. Reparations consisted of various efforts to promote restitution through education, job renewal, and housing projects; compensation through economic assistance programs; and rehabilitation through “the provision of medical services and healthcare… and any relevant legal and social services.” The distribution and implementation of these reparations were to be gender-inclusive and given first to the most vulnerable victims. Unfortunately, due to the defendant’s financial situation, the Chamber stated that Lubanga did not bear personal liability and would “only [be] able to contribute to non-monetary reparations. Any participation on his part in symbolic reparations, such as a public or private apology to the victims, is only appropriate with his agreement. Accordingly, these measures will not form part of any Court order.”

Shortly after the Trial Chamber released this decision, the Defense, followed by the Legal Representatives of the Victims and the OPCV, submitted appeals. The Defense posited that naming certain groups as beneficiaries—including victims who did not participate in the trial and victims of sexual violence—violated the rights of the accused. Firstly, the Rome Statute states that only recognized victims can be beneficiaries of reparations, and the Defense claimed that non-participating victims should not be considered recognized victims. Secondly, the Statute stipulates that reparations can only be ordered against the specific crime(s) of the defendant, and Lubanga was not convicted of sexual or gender-based crimes. The Defense therefore argued that reparations for victims of sexual violence violated the Statute.

The V01 team both countered the Defense’s claims and challenged the Chamber’s decision, contending that “the Trial Chamber erred in law by dismissing the individual applications for reparation without entertaining them,” and “erred in law by absolving the convicted person from any obligation as regards reparations.” In accordance with its recommendation to the ICC on behalf of victims, the Legal Representatives of Victims continued to advocate for individualized reparations. A collective approach and deferral of reparations to the TFV entirely, they argued, violated individual victims’ right to reparations outlined in the Rome Statute. The Legal Representatives further contended that the Chamber violated the Statute by relieving Lubanga from any responsibility for reparations. Despite funding issues, the V01 team argued, if reparations were to be made against a defendant, then the defendant should be liable no matter their financial situation. 

The Appeals Chamber ultimately released its decision on the submitted appeals in 2015, along with an amended Reparations Order. In its decision, the Court ruled against the Defense’s claim about victims of sexual violence, stating that “the Fund may consider providing support to victims of sexual violence in Ituri, although Mr Lubanga has not been accused or convicted of crimes of sexual violence.” The TFV’s dual mandate “of general assistance to victims in situations where the ICC is active, and the mandate to contribute to the implementation of orders for reparations to victims in particular cases before the Court” allows the ICC to simultaneously provide victims of sexual violence with redress without violating the Rome Statute or the defendant’s rights. Evidently, the Trust Fund played a significant role in determining the outcome of reparations. Its external sources of funding and dual mandate allow it to deliver reparations for a more general population of victims without making the defendant liable. 

However, the decision to entirely absolve Lubanga from responsibility for reparations was overturned, despite his limited finances. The Appeals Chamber ruled that:

The Trial Chamber erred in not making Mr Lubanga personally liable for the collective reparations due to his current state of indigence. The Appeals Chamber held that reparations orders must establish and inform the convicted person of his personal liability with respect to the reparations awarded, and that if the Trust Fund for Victims advances its resources in order to enable the implementation of the order, it will be able to claim the advanced resources from Mr Lubanga at a later date.

As reparations are supposed to be made against a specific defendant for their crimes, absolving Lubanga from responsibility wholly due to his poor financial situation would be harmful. It would demonstrate to victims that the perpetrator of the crimes committed against them is not responsible for their harm and subsequent redress. This decision is also of note because it establishes a precedent for future Reparations Orders and perpetrator liability, which will be significant in both the Katanga and Ntaganda cases. Finally, the Appeals Chamber ruled against the V01 legal team and confirmed the Trial Chamber’s decision to rely almost solely on collectivized reparations—effectively denying      participating victims and their legal representation of their requests. In defense of its choice, the Appeals Chamber “highlighted that the number of victims is an important factor in determining that reparations on a collective basis are more appropriate.” The TFV, while able to use external funding from donating States and organizations, ultimately did not have the ability to provide individual reparations, nor did any of the Court’s apparatuses have the capacity to identify each victim. This decision is reflective of the argument made by the TFV in the initial Decision establishing the principles and practices to be applied to reparations, which emphasized the thousands of potential victims that the Court would not be able to reach if it took an individual approach. Therefore, it is clear that in this case, the capacities of the Trust Fund for Victims were given priority over the identity and participation of victims, the crime(s) committed, and reparation type legitimacy—though they were all still contributing factors.

The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga

Germain Katanga was “found guilty, as an accessory, of one count of crimes against humanity (murder) and four counts of war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging) committed on 24 February 2003 during the attack on the village of Bogoro” in 2014. At the time, Bogoro—a village located in the Ituri district—was under the control of the Ugandan-backed UPC militia, composed primarily of Hema combatants. The attack was perpetrated by a rival Ngiti militia known as Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri (FPRI), of which Katanga was the “de jure supreme commander,” with “de facto ultimate control over FRPI commanders.” Katanga himself is Ngiti—an ethnic subgroup of the Lendu that predominantly resides south of Bunia, the capital of Ituri. Originally, the Court jointly tried both Germain Katanga and an accused co-perpetrator, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, in 2008 after apprehension. However, the cases were severed in 2012, and Katanga’s case proceeded with the singular defendant case. The Court issued an official Reparations Order in 2017, including “a symbolic compensation of USD 250 per victim [for 297 victims] as well as collective reparations in the form of support for housing, support for income‑generating activities, education aid and psychological support.”

Germain Katanga’s case is uniquely interesting, as it shares fewer commonalities with the other two cases. For instance, the type of crimes committed by Germain Katanga were significantly different from those committed by Lubanga and Ntaganda, who were both convicted of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers. Lubanga and Ntaganda also share a common ethnicity and were former members of the same militia. Thus, Katanga’s case is the best example of why the crime(s) committed by the defendant is a significant causal factor in determining ICC reparations in the DRC. The harm that victims of the Bogoro attack suffered was, in many ways, very different from the harm suffered by former child soldiers. While all were equally horrific, they were different in nature. Victims of the attack suffered major economic losses, especially land, property, and housing destruction. Consequently, what victims advocated for was largely determined by the ways in which their identity intersected with the harm they experienced. For instance, ranching and the raising of livestock was an extremely popular occupation that significantly shaped Bogoro’s local economy and customs—particularly among the sizable Hema population living there. Much of the ranching land, equipment, and livestock was destroyed when the FPRI attacked. Many victims also lost their homes and/or a family member. In many cases, this caused mass displacement and made it more difficult for families to get by. No longer able to finance their childrens’ school tuition, children stopped attending school. As such, the majority of victims wanted economic compensation because they believed that it would best repair the harm they suffered.

The ICC Registry confirmed this notion in its consultation with victims. In this case, victims were once again represented by the Legal Representatives of Victims, but they were not divided into subcategories nicknamed V01 and V02, as was done in the Lubanga case. In a survey of 305 identified victims, “over 98% of the victims reported having suffered from each of the crimes characterised as ‘Attack on a Civilian Population’; ‘Pillage’; and ‘Destruction of Property’” and “over 99% of the victims consider that economic development and financial measures would be the most appropriate form of reparations.” These high percentages indicate that the nature of Katanga’s crimes, which differed significantly from the other two defendants, shaped victims’ needs. Victims felt that their specific needs would only be addressed through economic or monetary reparations because the harm they experienced at the hands of the convicted person was largely economic. This need for economic assistance was further amplified by victims’ identities. For instance, women typically bore a significant burden after the attack, during which many of them lost their homes and, subsequently, their domestic domain. In its interviews, “the Registry notes that the impact of the crimes on the family appears to have particularly affected women, 96% of whom reported some form of continual harm.” Women disproportionately advocated for reparations in the form of housing support because it would best suit their socio-economic and cultural situation—which was dually shaped by their identity as women, mothers, domestic workers, and the harms that they suffered. Consequently, the majority of victims consulted almost unanimously wanted individualized reparations.

The potential barriers to implementation that the Court had to consider for both individual and/or collective reparations included ethnic tension escalation and funding. Bogoro is a predominantly Hema village and, due to the colonial organization of land and other economic resources, those who possess land and capital were mostly Hema. This was a serious dilemma because it could mean that the Court was once again seeming to favor the Hema in its reparations programs, when all Congolese people suffered from horrific acts of violence and loss throughout the war. The Legal Representatives of Victims noted that:

Since in that case the charges were limited to enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 into armed forces and using them to participate actively in hostilities, the victims in both cases are primarily from the Hema community. The result is that reparations awarded by the Court in both cases are likely to benefit victims from one side of an ethnic conflict in which both sides perceive that they suffered harm.

Already, the Court had taken a risk by delivering collective reparations to former child soldiers in the Lubanga case because of the potential perception of ethnic favoritism. The ICC and victims’ legal representatives were once again worried that collective reparations could exacerbate ethnic tensions, especially if the Court’s second round of reparations in the Congo were given to the same ethnic group as before. Even individualized reparations in this case could be construed as ethnic favoritism because the landowning and ranching class were largely Hema. Therefore, if economic reparations were given out to victims with the purpose of restoring what they lost, then the restoration efforts would be imbalanced since those who occupied a lower socio-economic station prior to the attack would not experience as much material benefit from the reparations program. The ICC was similarly concerned that giving reparations to victims in Bogoro would perpetuate division and conflict between neighboring ethnic and geographic communities—as many other villages were also brutalized throughout the war. Perpetrators of other violent attacks were just not before the Court at the time. The Court must ultimately follow the provisions of the Rome Statute when coming to a decision on reparations, but it must first acknowledge that the perception of favoritism could actually hinder a reconciliatory process, injure victims further, and damage the ICC’s legitimacy.  The ICC reparations decision was also affected by funding availability. In a rigorous evaluation process, the ICC Registry estimated the total value of harm done to all victims using factors such as the value of housing, personal effects, businesses, harvests, livestock, physical harm, and psychological harm. The final estimate equated to $3,752,620. However, as the Court found Germain Katanga to be indigent, there was significant debate over how much he could be considered liable for. Remember, the Court had already established the precedent in the Lubanga case that an indigent defendant is still liable, at least partially, for reparations—even if only symbolically. For instance, “the scope of the convicted person’s liability, it is recalled, must be proportionate to the harm caused and, inter alia, his or her participation in the commission of the crimes of which he or she was found guilty.” The ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence outline that a defendant’s financial liability for reparations must be determined based on a consideration of the harm inflicted and the extent to which the defendant inflicted said harm.  The Defense argued that Katanga should not be held accountable for the entirety of the harm inflicted, because he was convicted as a co-perpetrator. However, the Chamber ultimately held that neither Katanga’s indigence or co-perpetrator status should impede his liability for reparations, and mandated that Germain Katanga be liable for $1,000,000. Unfortunately, this $1,000,000 was still not enough to justify an entirely individualized approach to reparations. The difficulty of identifying and screening eligible victims, as well as locating displaced victims, was too great. The Court, however, knew that a solely collective approach would not be seen as legitimate in the eyes of victims, and hence ordered the creation of collectivized economic programs, alongside a symbolic individual payout of $250 to 297 identified victims.

The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda

Bosco Ntaganda is the former Deputy Chief of Staff and commander of operations of the FPLC—the UPC’s military branch. In 2019, the Trial Chamber convicted him of 13 counts of war crimes and 5 counts of crimes against humanity—a verdict which was confirmed by the Appeals Chamber in March of 2021. At the time the ICC also “awarded collective reparations with individualised components. The modalities of reparations may include measures of restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, and satisfaction, which may incorporate, when appropriate, a symbolic, preventative, or transformative value.”

One of the biggest puzzles of this research concerns overlapping victims, and why the Court issued vastly different types of reparations when many of the victims overlapped across cases. The answer can be found in the Ntaganda case. Ntaganda was a colleague of Lubanga and both were convicted of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers and using them for armed hostilities for the UPC/FPLC—meaning that many of these children overlapped. The collective service-based reparations awarded to former child soldiers in the Lubanga case is viewed by the Court as a comprehensive approach that benefits all necessary direct and indirect victims. Thus, the ICC felt that these existing programs could be utilized to also serve former child soldiers affected by Ntaganda’s crimes:

It will thus adopt, for the purposes of reparations in this case, the reparation programmes ordered by Trial Chamber II in the Lubanga case, in relation to the overlapping victims and harms of both cases. Accordingly, the reparation programmes implemented in the Lubanga case, which comprehensively repair the harm caused to the overlapping direct and indirect victims of both cases, should be understood to repair the victims’ harm on behalf of both, Mr Lubanga and Mr Ntaganda.

It would be illogical for the Court to utilize its incredibly limited resources to rebuild identical programs from the ground up to benefit the same type of victim in the same geographical area. The Trial Chamber instead recognized that in order to best suit victims, it should maintain existing, successful programs established during the Lubanga case to serve newly identified victims. This instance is the most prominent example of Court evolution and expansion, as it demonstrates the ICC’s changing approach to reparations as it continues to prosecute and convict defendants from the same Situation.

With regard to this decision, some parties had concerns about whether or not Ntaganda would no longer be considered the liable party for reparations if a different defendant’s reparations were used. In response, the Chamber clarifies that this new approach to overlapping victims would:

Under no circumstances, diminishes Mr Ntaganda’s liability to repair in full the harm caused to all victims of the crimes for which he was convicted. To the contrary, Mr Lubanga and Mr Ntaganda are jointly and severally liable to repair in full the harm suffered by the overlapping victims and both remain liable to reimburse the funds that the TFV may eventually use to complement the reparation awards for their shared victims.

In trying to come to a decision on this issue, the Court and several interested parties were concerned that using the reparations infrastructure established in the Lubanga case to address overlapping victims would demonstrate to the public that Ntaganda is not responsible for the harm done to his victims. To address this concern, the Court emphasized that the decision was a strategic maximization of limited resources designed to help as many affected direct and indirect victims as possible. The release of Ntaganda from direct financial liability and the utilization of existing reparations infrastructure in no way diminished his responsibility as a perpetrator. The Court must also engage in equitable practices when delivering reparations to victims, and one such equitable practice principle is known as “no over-compensation.” By continuing to use existing programs for Ntaganda’s child soldier victims, the Court was adhering to the no overcompensation principle for former child soldiers in the DRC, who are seen as a larger collective of victims.

It is clear that the crime of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers played a large role in determining the outcome of reparations in the Ntaganda case. The same was true for the other crimes he committed, as well as the identity of those specific victims. For instance, Ntaganda was the first defendant from the Situation in the DRC to be convicted of crimes related to sexual violence, including rape and sexual slavery. The nature of these crimes necessitated a different approach to reparations. For instance, due to the high pervasiveness of rape and sexual slavery among the UPC, many women and girls (including those under the age of 15) were impregnated against their will. While these women and girls were rightfully identified as direct victims, their children were not originally going to be considered victims. The OPCV, in particular, became a strong voice advocating that the label of indirect victim should be extended to children born out of rape and sexual slavery. The Chamber, rather than qualifying children born from rape and sexual slavery as indirect victims, “concluded that, in light of the circumstances of the case, children born out of rape and sexual slavery may qualify as direct victims, as the harm they suffered is a direct result of the commission of the crimes of rape and sexual slavery.” This shift is notable because it exemplifies that the crimes committed by the defendant and their intersection with victims’ identities do, in fact, have a significant impact on the outcome of reparations in ICC cases.

Reparation type legitimacy also had a large role in this case. By the time the ICC released its Reparations Order in 2021, almost twenty years had passed since Ntaganda’s crimes. Consequently, victims were not amiable to non-material or symbolic forms of reparations. The Chamber notes that:

In reaching this decision it particularly took into account the victims’ wish not to be granted any form of memorialisation or other forms of symbolic reparations unless they serve practical purposes, and their wish to receive awards aiming at supporting sustainable and long-term livelihood and well-being, rather than simply addressing their needs on a short-term basis.

Reparations are meant to legitimize victim suffering and repair harm. The proximity that a victim shares with their injury influences the type of reparations they find to be the most effective. Twenty years after the injury, the majority of victims felt that material reparations were the only legitimate form of reparations, as symbolic reparations could not do anything to better the material conditions of their lives. The Court took this feedback into consideration, and determined that a collective approach with individualized components would best fit victims after such a long period of time had passed. 

Victim ethnicity and funding were surprisingly not as prominent in this specific case. Victim ethnicity, for instance, was not as much of a challenge for the Court because:

The Legal Representative expects more former child soldiers to be willing to participate in the reparations proceedings in the present case because Mr Ntaganda is not of Hema ethnicity. Accordingly Hema victims will be more inclined to come forwards which might not have been the case in the Lubanga reparations proceedings.

One of the main causes for ethnic tension in the previous cases had to do with the perpetrator’s ethnicity. Bosco Ntaganda is neither Hema nor Lendu/Ngiti. In the Lubanga case, Hema children who were former soldiers were shunned by their communities and, as a result, often felt disempowered to identify themselves and claim reparations. In the Ntaganda case, however, the Legal Representatives estimated that because there would be a lesser potential for intercommunal repercussions, more former child soldiers would come forward to claim reparations. Funding was likewise not as much of a constraint on reparations. Yes, funding is always a constraint for the TFV—especially for a defendant convicted of 18 total crimes against peace—but victims in this case were not as adamant about receiving individual reparations, and collective reparations are more cost effective. Lastly, Ntaganda, while found indigent, was made liable for $30,000,000—which is significantly more than in previous cases. Hence, the Court was able to fund a wider variety of projects.


The Second Congolese War was an incredibly brutal and bloody conflict. The International Criminal Court has done what it can to bring the leading perpetrators of mass crimes to justice and, subsequently, provide victims with reparations. The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, and The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda—the Congolese cases in which the ICC has ordered reparations—present us with a puzzle. Each offense took place during the war, specifically between 2002-2003, and in the same district. In two cases, the defendants were members of the same militia and committed some of the same crimes. Nevertheless, the ICC ordered vastly different forms of reparations across these cases. This outcome came about as a result of the interaction between several causal factors: victim identity, victim participation, the crime(s) committed by the defendant, reparation type legitimacy, the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and feasibility, and Court evolution. Each of these causes not only contribute to the outcome of reparations, but also reveal the limitations of the ICC’s reparations regime—particularly its inability to fully satisfy victims. 

The revelations of this research are extremely important because they provide insight into the ways in which international criminal justice practices can be improved. The ICC is still new and extremely different from many of its institutional predecessors, specifically in regard to victim participation and reparations. It is vital that we critically examine how the Court makes its decisions in order to best approach reparations for victims of mass atrocities. Understanding why and how the Court issued different reparations across similar cases in the same Situation can help us to better visualize future ICC decisions. So far, the Court has ordered reparations in two other cases, one in Mali and one in Northern Uganda. Should the Court convict more criminals from these Situations and choose to order reparations, we now have a better insight into that decision making process.  There is still a significant amount of research that can be done on this topic. As a researcher, I was limited in my capacity to examine all relevant Court documents considering their number and length. I also omitted a notable amount of information for the purposes of this specific paper—including but not limited to information regarding women, girls, and sexual crimes. There is so much more regarding these issues that deserve further investigation. Moreover, this research and its implicit findings about the limitations of the ICC prompt us to question whether or not an institution designed for prosecution is the best vehicle to be delivering reparations in the first place. The purpose of reparations is to serve victims and to meet their needs, but it is clear that victims are not getting what they want from the Court. While it is noble for the ICC to try to provide restorative justice to the victims of people it convicts, it might not be the right institution to do so. On the other hand, it may be that the Court is well situated to provide victims with reparations, it just has yet to fully figure it out, for its reparations regime turned ten only this year. These questions warrant greater consideration.


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[1] Pearse, Patrick. “Graveside Oration at the Funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa” (August 1915).

[2]Anderson, Benedict. “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” Verso (1983), p 12.

[3] Ibid., p 16.

[4] English, Richard. “History and Irish Nationalism.” Irish Historical Studies 37, no. 147 (2011): 447–60.

[5]  Ibid., pp 458-60; “University of Alberta Dictionary of Cognitive Science: Methodological Solipsism.”

[6] Weaver, Stewart. “100 Years on: The Partition of Ireland Explained Why Was Ireland Divided?” (2021).

[7] World Bank. “The ‘Troubles’ of Northern Ireland: Understanding Civil War” (2005).

[8] “Languages and Religions of the U.K. and Ireland.” National Geographic (2012); “Ireland and Britain: 800 Years of Conflict” (30 Jan 2016).

[9] History Ireland. “The Irish Republican Brotherhood” (March 8, 2013).

[10] Mac Manus, Seumas. “Sinn Féin.” The North American Review Vol. 185, no. No. 621 (August 16, 1907): 825-36; Cowell-Meyers, K. and Arthur, Paul. “Sinn Féin.” Encyclopedia Britannica (January 26, 2021).

[11] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopedia. “Home Rule.” Encyclopedia Britannica (September 15, 2010); UK Parliament. “Government of Ireland Act 1914” (September 18, 1914).

[12] Leeson, D.M. “Post-War Conflict (Great Britain and Ireland).” In International Encyclopedia of the First World War (January 27, 2016).

[13] Ibid.

[14] Casement, Sir Roger. “Ireland, Germany, and Europe” (1911).

[15] BBC News. “Easter Rising 1916: How an Irish Rebellion Sought International Help,” sec. Northern Ireland (March 24, 2016).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Pearse, Patrick. “Proclamation of the Republic” (April 24, 1916).

[18] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopedia. “Easter Rising.” Encyclopedia Britannica (November 30, 2021).

[19] Ginnell and Tennant. “Execution of James Connolly” (May 30, 1916).

[20] Ibid., p 12.

[21] Mac Manus, Seumas. “Sinn Féin.” The North American Review, Vol. 185, no. No. 621 (August 16, 1907): 825-36.

[22] Anderson, Benedict. “Imagined Communities,” p 16.

[23] Ibid., p 44.

[24] “Ten Commandments.” In A Dictionary of the Bible, edited by W. R. F. Browning, Oxford Biblical Studies Online.

[25] Ó hAdhmaill, Féilim. “The Easter Rising (1916) in Ireland and Its Historical Context: The Campaign for an Irish Democracy.” ResearchGate (2019).

[26] Mulhall, Ambassador Daniel. “The Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921.” Department of Foreign Affairs (December 6, 2021) ; “Irish Free State.” In Wikipedia, (March 11, 2022). ; Britain, and Ireland. “The Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921” (December 6, 1921).

[27] Editors, History com. “Easter Rising.” HISTORY (January 25, 2019).

[28] Reeves, Chris. “‘Let Us Stand by Our Friends’: British Policy Towards Ireland, 1949-59.” Irish Studies in International Affairs 11 (2000): 85–102.

[29] Dubnov, Arie M, and Laura Robson. Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separatism. Redwood City: Stanford University Press (2019), p 6.

[30] Ibid., p 7.

[31] Shwadran, Benjamin. “The Emergence of the State of Israel.” The Journal of Educational Sociology 22, no. 3 (1948).

[32] General Assembly, United Nations. “Resolution Adopted on the Report of the AD HOC Committee on the Palestinian Question” (November 29, 1947).

[33] Britain, and Ireland. “The Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921” (December 6, 1921).

[34] Dubnov, Arie M, and Laura Robson. “Partitions: A Transnational History,” pp 14-16.

[35] Toon, Owen B., et al.“Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe.” ScienceAdvances (October 2, 2019).

[36] Dubnov, Arie M, and Laura Robson. “Partitions: A Transnational History,” p 27.

[37] Anderson, Benedict. “Imagined Communities,” p 13.


Allison was an undergraduate student at American University (class of 2024) when she submitted this piece about the ICC's role in the Congo to YRIS. She studies International Studies with concentrations in Justice, Ethics, and Human Rights and Middle Eastern Affairs. She is also pursuing a minor in Political Science and a Certificate in Political Theory.