Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Keywords

genocide, tribunals, legislation

Abstract

During three months in 1994, genocide was committed in Rwanda. Two years after those events, and notwithstanding efforts at both national and international levels to bring the perpetrators to justice, the first case has yet to go to trial. Over the past months, I have worked closely with the government of Rwanda on justice issues in the course of a research project that I am doing on the role of national and international tribunals in the former Yugoslavia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. I would like to share with you some observations arising from that work. I will examine the approaches to justice that have been employed in Rwanda, and consider some of the obstacles that have been confronted despite, or, in some instances, because of, the approaches taken. I will first discuss the recently enacted Rwandan legislation on the handling of genocide-related cases, and then examine the interaction of national and international tribunals as they exercise concurrent jurisdiction in the Rwandan context. I will conclude by briefly considering some of the broader implications of the Rwandan experience.

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