Punishment for Genocide - Exploratory Analysis of ICTR Sentencing

International Criminal Law Review 2011, 745-773, 2011

30 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2014

See all articles by Barbora Hola

Barbora Hola

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Catrien Bijleveld

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Alette Smeulers

Univeristy of Groningen

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The sentencing practice of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is a relatively neglected topic in academic discussions. The few empirical studies on sentencing of international crimes have focused primarily on the sentencing practice of its ‘sister court’, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Unlike ICTY defendants, almost all ICTR defendants have been convicted of and sentenced for genocide – arguably the most serious international crime. This empirical study examines the sentencing practice of the ICTR and analyses the relationship between sentence severity and the primary consideration in sentencing – crime gravity. The relevant principles stemming from ICTR case law are reviewed, followed by an examination of the interrelationship between sentence severity and factors relating to crime gravity, such as category of crime, scale of crime and the form and degree of a defendant’s involvement in the crime.The ICTR judges appear in most cases to follow the main principles emphasized in their case law, with sentences gradated in line with the increasing seriousness of defendants’ crimes and their culpability.

Keywords: ICTR, Rwanda, genocide, sentencing, gravity, empirical analysis, HOMALS

Suggested Citation

Hola, Barbora and Bijleveld, Catrien and Smeulers, Alette, Punishment for Genocide - Exploratory Analysis of ICTR Sentencing (2011). International Criminal Law Review 2011, 745-773, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534559

Barbora Hola

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Catrien Bijleveld

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Alette Smeulers (Contact Author)

Univeristy of Groningen ( email )

9700 AS Groningen
Netherlands

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