This contribution analyses the first judgment rendered by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Lubanga case, specifically focusing on those sections of the judgment dealing with the recruitment of child soldiers. After a brief enquiry into the reasons for the prosecutorial decision to charge Thomas Lubanga Dyilo with only one crime, the article examines the legal findings of the Trial Chamber on various aspects of the offence, including its chapeau elements. These findings are then compared with analysis carried out by the Special Court for Sierra Leone in similar instances. The article specifically addresses concerns of the potential danger presented by the ambiguous findings of the Trial Chamber with respect to the use of children in hostilities and offers a way of reading the judgment that reconciles the wording of the ICC Statute with the need to enhance protection of children in hostilities.
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