The reality of child soldiers who join rebel forces once they reach adulthood presents complex legal questions in the face of contemporary international criminal law principles which, on the one hand, afford protection to all children, and on the other, unequivocally call for the prosecution and punishment of those who are guilty of committing serious crimes. Currently, the case of Dominic Ongwen before the icc raises contentious issues, including whether or not international criminal law permits the consideration of factors, such as the impact of the experiences as a child soldier on future conduct, when he is prosecuted for allegedly committing crimes during adulthood. This article specifically examines whether Ongwen’s experiences as a child soldier could serve as a possible defence and/or as a mitigating factor.
Ibid. p. 59. Also see Mark A. Drumbl ‘Children Armed Violence and Transition: Challenges for International Law and Policy’ 43 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law (2014–2015) 623–627 p. 624.
Fishersupra note 4 p.59. See also Bosch supra note 5 pp. 325–329.
Drumblsupra note 23 p. 18.
International Crisis Group‘The Lord’s Resistance Army: End Game?’Africa Report No. 18217 November 2011 online at <www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/central-africa/182%20The%20Lords%20Resistance%20Army%20--%20End%20Game.pdf> 23 July 2015.
Pham Vinck and Stoversupra note 19 p. 405. For a detailed discussion of the spiritual foundation of the lrasee generally David Axe and Tim Hamilton Army of God: Joseph Kony’s War in Central Africa (PublicAffairs New York 2013).
Jagielskisupra note 4 p. 45; see alsoe.g.The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwensupra note 1 para. 68.
See ibid. p. 172.
Mark Schenkel‘Uganda: The Thin Line between Victim and Perpetrator’Mail and Guardian16 February 2015 online at <www.mg.co.za/article/2015-02-16-uganda-the-thin-line-between-victim-and-perpetrator> 24 September 2016.