The United States Role in the Establishment of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

AFTER GENOCIDE: TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE, POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION, AND RECONCILIATION IN RWANDA AND BEYOND, pp. 229-260, Phil Clark & Zachary D. Kaufman, eds., Columbia University Press and C. Hurst & Co., 2009 (Re-published by Oxford University Press, 2013)

32 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2011 Last revised: 11 Mar 2015

See all articles by Zachary D. Kaufman

Zachary D. Kaufman

University of Houston Law Center; Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law; Yale University - Law School; Stanford Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This book chapter (authored by Zachary D. Kaufman) is published in the book After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Rwanda (co-edited by Phil Clark & Zachary D. Kaufman and co-published by Columbia University Press & C. Hurst & Co.). This chapter explores the history of the establishment of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), focusing on the role of the United States.

The origin of the ICTR is complicated and controversial because of the number, attractiveness, and precedence of alternative transitional justice mechanisms, and the pitfalls of establishing such a tribunal for investing, prosecuting, and punishing the suspected perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Much of this chapter includes a detailed historical account of the United States government’s involvement in establishing the ICTR. This narrative is important because the ICTR is critical to transitional justice in post-genocide Rwanda specifically and to the development of both international criminal law and war crimes tribunals more generally.

The reader will learn several key facts from this chapter. First, the United States government exercised leadership, perhaps more so than any other state, in the development of the ICTR. Second, two other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia and France - played leading roles, especially in opposing the United States government on its optimal preference for a transitional justice institution for post-genocide Rwanda. Finally, two non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council at that time - Spain and New Zealand - also played critical roles in the establishment of the ICTR.

Keywords: Transitional Justice, War Crimes Tribunals, ICTR, ICTY, Rwanda, United States, U.S. Department of State, Russia, France, Spain, New Zealand, United Nations Security Council, Genocide, Atrocities, Cold War, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law

Suggested Citation

Kaufman, Zachary D., The United States Role in the Establishment of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (2009). AFTER GENOCIDE: TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE, POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION, AND RECONCILIATION IN RWANDA AND BEYOND, pp. 229-260, Phil Clark & Zachary D. Kaufman, eds., Columbia University Press and C. Hurst & Co., 2009 (Re-published by Oxford University Press, 2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1916775

Zachary D. Kaufman (Contact Author)

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