ICC Judges decline to reduce Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo’s sentence

Today, 22 September 2015, three Judges of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), specifically appointed ICC Judges decline to reduce Mr Thomas Lubangaby the Appeals Chamber, reviewed Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo’s sentence. Presiding Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Judge Howard Morrison and Judge Piotr Hofmański unanimously decided that it is not appropriate to reduce Mr Lubanga’s sentence at this time and that the next review of the reduction of sentence will be in two years from the issuance of that decision.

Mr Lubanga was sentenced on 10 July 2012 to 14 years of imprisonment by Trial Chamber I, after having been found guilty of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities. On 1 December 2014, the Appeals Chamber confirmed the conviction and sentence imposed. The time he has spent in the ICC’s custody will be deducted from the sentence imposed. He has been detained at the ICC Detention Centre in The Hague since 16 March 2006.

In today’s decision, the appointed Judges conducted a review concerning the reduction of Mr Lubanga’s sentence pursuant to article 110 of the Rome Statute which provides that “[w]hen the person has served two thirds of the sentence; […] the Court shall review the sentence to determine whether it should be reduced”. The appointed Judges considered the parties’ and participants’ observations, and examined all factors and criteria set out in the Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, including, among others, the early and continuing willingness of the person to cooperate with the Court in its investigations and prosecutions; the conduct of the sentenced person while in detention; whether the early release of the sentenced person would give rise to significant social instability; any significant action taken by the sentenced person for the benefit of the victims as well as any impact on the victims and their families as a result of the early release; and the individual circumstances of the sentenced person. Despite finding that there is a prospect for the resocialization and successful resettlement of Mr Lubanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the appointed Judges nevertheless concluded that a reduction of Mr Lubanga’s sentence cannot be justified in the present circumstances.

ICC Press Release