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08 Dec 2008 description

In 2002, children were fighting in 37 of the world's 55 ongoing or recently concluded conflicts and they numbered around 300,000

One of the most significant rulings from the Special Court for Sierra Leone was on the recruitment of child soldiers.

The Court had to rule on a motion by the accused, Sam Hinga Norman (founder and leader of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) in Sierra Leone), who argued that the Court did not have jurisdiction to try him for recruiting child soldiers.

Mr Norman's defence team argued that the crime was not part of customary international law.