Genocide trials and gacaca courts

Schabas, William A. ORCID: (2005) Genocide trials and gacaca courts. Journal of international criminal justice, 3 (4) . pp. 879-895. ISSN 1478-1387 [Article] (doi:10.1093/jicj/mqi062)


After many decades of impunity, Rwanda has embarked upon a course of transitional justice committed to prosecuting all who are suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide. The first phase, which began in 1997 and is still continuing, targets the most serious offenders. Some 10,000 have been tried under the system. Confronted with its limitations, Rwanda has devised a second approach, known as gacaca, which focuses on a lower and less heinous level of participation in genocide, and which is inspired by traditional models of local justice. Acting upon legislation adopted in 2001, a pilot phase convinced Rwandan justice officials of the viability of the process throughout the country. The institutions have been fine-tuned, and become fully operational in the course of 2005. Because the pilot phase encouraged denunciation, instead of offering ‘closure’, the process has actually revealed a much broader popular participation in the atrocities of 1994. Rwandan authorities now say the gacaca process will prosecute more than 1,000,000 suspects.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 7722
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2011 06:19
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:20

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