Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2253494
 


 



The Effects of the Lubanga Case on Understanding and Preventing Child Soldiering


Mark A. Drumbl


Washington and Lee University - School of Law

April 18, 2013

Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 2013, Forthcoming
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2013-05

Abstract:     
On March 14, 2012, a trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a rebel leader from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for child-soldier-related crimes. Several months later, Lubanga was sentenced to a prison term of fourteen years. On August 7, 2012, an ICC trial chamber issued its decision regarding the principles and procedures to be applied to reparations in the Lubanga case.

This Article unpacks the relationships between the Lubanga proceedings and how the international community conceptualizes, and strives to prevent, child soldiering. This Article argues that the Lubanga proceedings reinforce, and incubate, a stylized portrayal of the child soldier as a faultless passive victim, psychologically devastated, and irreparably damaged. Although arguably facilitating criminal convictions of adult recruiters, these portrayals occasion a variety of troublesome externalities when it comes to the reintegration and rehabilitation of the former child soldiers and other youth (and adults) affected by conflict.

This Article proceeds through several steps. First, it defines the term child soldier. Second, and drawing from my prior work, it discusses how child soldiers are portrayed within the international legal imagination. Third, the on-the-ground realities of child soldiering are set out and contrasted with the imagery. The discussion, fourthly, then moves to a detailed analysis of the Lubanga trial and sentencing judgments, which are placed within broader discursive and socio-legal contexts. The Article concludes with an overview and brief discussion of the Lubanga reparations decision.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Child Soldiers, War Crimes, International Criminal Law, International Criminial Court, Atrocity, Post-Conflict Justice

JEL Classification: K10, K30

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Date posted: April 25, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Drumbl, Mark A., The Effects of the Lubanga Case on Understanding and Preventing Child Soldiering (April 18, 2013). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 2013, Forthcoming; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2013-05. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2253494

Contact Information

Mark A. Drumbl (Contact Author)
Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )
Sydney Lewis Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8531 (Phone)
540-458-8488 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://law.wlu.edu/faculty/profiledetail.asp?id=11
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