This Thursday and Friday (August 25th and 26th), the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will hear closing arguments in its first trial. Thereafter in due course the Chamber will issue its decision. The trial started in January 2009, and the evidence phase concluded in May 2011 after 220 days of hearing of testimony from 62 witnesses, including four experts called by the Trial Chamber itself. The Trail Chamber issued 307 oral decisions and 624 written decisions.
The accused in this trial is Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. He is the alleged founder and leader of UPC (Union des patriots congolais). He is charged with war crimes consisting of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In another ICC development, Grenada on August 1st became the 115th State Party to the ICC’s Rome Statute.
 ICC Press Release, Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo: The presentation of evidence stage is closed (May 20, 2011); Reuters, ICC’s Landmark Debut Trial Concludes After Two Years, N.Y. Times (Aug. 24, 2011).
 See Post: International Criminal Court: Introduction (April 28, 2011); Post: International Criminal Court: Investigations and Prosecutions (April 28, 2011); Post: International Criminal Court: Protection of Witnesses (Aug. 19,2011).
 ICC Press Release, ICC welcomes Grenada as a new State Party (Aug. 23, 2011).