Punishing Genocide in Rwanda
Mark A. Drumbl
Washington and Lee University - School of Law
June 2, 2006
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2006-06
This Article explores how and why national courts and traditional community institutions punish perpetrators of genocide in Rwanda. It forms part of a much broader research project that investigates the punishment of extraordinary international criminals generally. Thus far, published aspects of this project have analyzed the judgments and positive law of international legal institutions in order to present data on sentencing, diagnose shortcomings, and recommend reform. The data presented in this Article, which consists of an entirely original qualitative review of hundreds of genocide judgments of national institutions, represents the second stage of the project. This empirical review helps address a gaping lacuna in the English-language literature. It provides a basis to deeply interrogate the rationales of punishment of extraordinary criminals and the harmonization of customary law with the dominant meta-narrative of liberal legalism. These interrogations offer broader lessons with regard to the potential and limits of criminal trials for perpetrators of mass atrocity. These lessons from Rwanda's painful experiences are salient to a broad array of places currently subject to judicialization, from Sudan to Cambodia to Iraq, in particular the prosecution of Saddam Hussein.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Rwanda, genocideworking papers series
Date posted: June 13, 2006
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