On September 22, 2020, the International Court of Justice announced that it intends to obtain an expert opinion under Article 67(1) of the Court's Rules, in the case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda). According to a press release from the Court, the opinion is sought in relation to the question of reparations in the above case, following the Court's December 2005 judgment on the merits in which it found that Uganda had violated several provisions of international human rights and humanitarian law and that the DRC had violated obligations owed to Uganda under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Court ordered both parties to make reparations and that the Court would make a determination regarding reparations in future proceedings, should the parties be unable to settle reparations between them. Having failed to do so, the Court resumed proceedings to address the reparations issue in July 2015 and received Memorials and Counter-Memorials on the issue. By an Order dated September 8, 2020, the Court decided to obtain an expert opinion on appropriate reparations from four independent experts to be appointed by the Court after hearing both parties on the matter.
Judge Cançado Trindade filed a separate opinion underscoring the "need to proceed promptly to the determination of reparations for the grave breaches of the International Law of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law" and stating that the delays in this case are "unacceptable" to him.
Judge Sebutinde also filed a separate opinion objecting to the Court's decision to consult experts and arguing that "[t]he proposed terms of reference of the experts contained in the Order have the effect of unfairly interfering with the allocation of the burden of proof and tilting the balance in favour of one Party to the detriment of the other, contrary to the principles of a fair hearing and equality of arms ⎯ Alternatively, the terms of reference have the effect of inappropriately delegating the judicial function to the experts."
The Order includes the terms of reference for the experts, but it does not include details as to timing.