Advertisement

Gacaca Jurisdictions in Practice

  • Pietro SulloEmail author
Chapter
  • 350 Downloads
Part of the International Criminal Justice Series book series (ICJS, volume 20)

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview concerning the daily practice of gacaca in order to verify to what extent the modus operandi of these courts corresponded to, and respected, their legal framework. Attention is paid to the phases of preparation of the gacaca courts, their launch and the training of the judges. Attention is also paid to the extent to which the non-compliance with human rights norms that grant a fair trial has jeopardized the gacaca experiment. The way in which the gacaca procedure has unfolded is consequently analysed in order to detect whether the participation of local communities and the gacaca judges have granted a fair trial in substantive terms. Also provided is an overview regarding the judgements delivered by gacaca courts covering their sentencing rationale. Room is devoted to child victims and perpetrators of genocide-related crimes as well as gender issues. Finally, relying on direct observation of gacaca practice, scholarly sources and accounts by NGOs, the main concerns regarding local ownership and administrative intrusion, truth-telling and respect for the procedures established by law are exposed.

Keywords

Pre-gacaca nyumbakumi ceceka kugura umusozi sentencing RPF crimes presumption of guilt cahier d’activités 

References

  1. African Rights, Redress (2008) Survivors and Post-Genocide Justice in Rwanda: Their Experience, Perspectives and Hopes. Kigali, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Avocats Sans Frontières (2007b) IV Rapport Analytique. Brussels-KigaliGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernaz N (2013) Life imprisonment and the prohibition of inhuman punishments in international human rights law: Moving the agenda forward. Human Rights Quarterly, 35:470–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bornkamm P (2012) Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts: Between Retribution and Reparation. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark P (2010) The Gacaca Courts, Post-genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda, Justice without Lawyers. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Cobban H (2002) The Legacies of Collective Violence: The Rwandan Genocide and the Limits of the Law. Boston Review 27(2):4–15Google Scholar
  7. Des Forges AL (1999) “Leave none to tell the story”: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Drumbl M (2000) Punishment, Postgenocide: From Guilt to Shame to Civis in Rwanda, NYU Law Review 75(5):1221–1326Google Scholar
  9. Fierens J (2005) Gacaca Courts: Between Fantasy and Reality. 3 Journal of International Criminal JusticeGoogle Scholar
  10. Hola B, Nyseth Brehm H (2016) Punishing Genocide: A Comparative Empirical Analysis of Sentencing Laws and Practices at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwandan Domestic Courts, and Gacaca Courts. Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, 10(3):7Google Scholar
  11. Human Rights Watch (2008) Law and Reality, Progress in Judicial Reforms in Rwanda, https://www.hrw.org/report/2008/07/25/law-and-reality/progress-judicial-reform-rwanda. Last accessed 28 February 2018
  12. Ingelaere B (2016) Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts. The University of Wisconsin Press, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  13. Kaitesi U (2014) Genocidal gender and sexual violence. The legacy of the ICTR, Rwanda’s ordinary courts and gacaca courts. Intersentia, Cambridge/Antwerp/PortlandGoogle Scholar
  14. Longman T (2006) Justice at the grassroots? Gacaca trials in Rwanda. In: Roth-Arriaza N, Mariezcyrrena J (eds) Transitional justice in the twenty-first century. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Ndahinda FM, Muleefu A (2012) Revisiting the legal and socio-political foundations and (Western) criticisms of gacaca courts. African Perspectives on Tradition and JusticeGoogle Scholar
  16. Nyseth Brehm H et al (2014) Genocide, Justice, and Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 30(3):333–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Palmer N (2015) Courts in Conflict: Interpreting the Layers of Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Penal Reform International (2001) PRI Research on Gacaca Report, Rapport I, ‘gacaca jurisdictions and its preparations’, https://www1.essex.ac.uk/armedcon/story_id/000868.pdf. Last accessed 4 February 2018
  19. Penal Reform International (2002b) The gacaca research project in Rwanda. An in-depth field Study Concerning gacaca jurisdictions and Community Service, Report III. London-KigaliGoogle Scholar
  20. Penal Reform International (2005) Integrated Report on Gacaca Research and Monitoring, Pilot Phase January 2002–December 2004. KigaliGoogle Scholar
  21. Penal Reform International (2006) Monitoring and Research Report on the Gacaca. Information-Gathering during the National Phase. Kigali-LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenmerkel et al (2009) Felony sentences in state courts, 2006—Statistical tables (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. UN General Assembly (2000) Report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Fifty-Fifth Session) A/55/41Google Scholar
  24. Waldorf L (2006a) Mass justice for mass atrocity: Rethinking local justice as transitional justice. Temp. L. Rev., 79:1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the author 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brussels School of International StudiesUniversity of KentBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations