Journal Article

The <i>Lubanga</i> Trial Chamber’s Assessment of Evidence in Light of the Accused’s Right to the Presumption of Innocence

Rosalynd C. E. Roberts

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 10, issue 4, pages 923-943
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
The Lubanga Trial Chamber’s Assessment of Evidence in Light of the Accused’s Right to the Presumption of Innocence

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On 14 March 2012, the International Criminal Court issued its first judgment, convicting Thomas Lubanga of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers and using them to participate actively in hostilities. This article examines the Trial Chamber’s assessment of the evidence from the Lubanga trial in relation to the Accused’s rights to the presumption of innocence under Article 66 of the Court's Statute. After providing a background to this important concept using jurisprudence from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the article examines the Lubanga Trial Chamber’s approach to assessing the evidence in light of the burden of proof and standard of proof enshrined in Article 66. In particular, the article focuses on the problems inherent in the Trial Chamber’s direction to the parties that if they did not highlight relevant evidence in their written closing statements, there would be a real risk that the Chamber would not consider such evidence in its deliberations. In this context, the impact of such an instruction on the Defence is of particular interest. Lastly, the article analyses the Chamber’s assessment of oral evidence in light of concerns regarding the reliability of oral evidence.

Journal Article.  10043 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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