Children and the First Verdict of the International Criminal Court

Diane Marie Amann, University of Georgia School of Law

Originally uploaded in SSRN.


Child soldiers were a central concern in the first decade of the International Criminal Court; indeed, the court’s first trial, Prosecutor v. Lubanga, dealt exclusively with the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using child soldiers. This article compares the attention that the court has paid to children – an attention that serves the express terms of the ICC Statute – with the relative inattention in post-World War II international instruments such as the statutes of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. The article then analyzes the Lubanga conviction, sentence, and reparations rulings. It recommends that the ICC focus attention on all the ways that armed conflict affects children, as a means to advance goals of accountability, redress, and prevention.