Human Rights Review

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 277–278 | Cite as

Remediation in Rwanda: Grassroots Legal Forums by Kristin Conner Doughty

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016
  • Lyn S. Graybill
Book Review

In Remediation in Rwanda: Grassroots Legal Forums, Kristin Conner Doughty argues that “mediation was a technique of governance intended to reshape post-genocide Rwanda into a particular kind of community, based on exhortations to unity that were justified as cultural” (11). She focuses on three legal forums: gacaca courts, mediation committees (comite y’abunzi), and non-governmental legal aid clinics. All three institutions, which she calls “harmony legal models,” were established after the 1994 genocide, but only gacaca was mandated to deal with crimes that were committed during that time. The other two forums deal with more mundane disputes, both criminal and civil. (Gacaca hearings are completed, but the other two forums remain ongoing.) What all three forums share is mediation by third party actors with the power of punishment to advocate compromise solutions.

Doughty warns about the danger of cultural justifications that hide the reality of state control and ignore the degree of...


  1. Clark, Phil. (2010). The Gacaca Courts, Post-genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda: Justice without Lawyers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Ingelaere, Bert. (2008). “The Gacaca Courts in Rwanda.” In Luc Huys and Mark Salter (Eds.), Traditional Justice and Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: Learning from African Experience (Stockholm: IDEA).Google Scholar
  3. Waldorf, Lars. (2006). “Mass Justice for Mass Atrocity: Rethinking Local Justice as Transitional Justice.” Temple Law Review 79:1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication April/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyn S. Graybill
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Simons IslandUSA

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