Review Essay: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Post- Genocide Justice 25 Years On

European Journal of International Law, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2020

See all articles by Patryk I. Labuda

Patryk I. Labuda

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: June 12, 2020

Abstract

2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and of the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). After prosecuting 73 people, including high-ranking politicians and military leaders, the Rwanda Tribunal closed its doors in 2015. Together with its sister tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the ICTR is considered one of the first-generation ad hoc tribunals mandated to bring justice to countries emerging from conflict. This review essay examines four books to take stock of the scholarly debate on the ICTR’s performance. After analyzing the Tribunal’s achievements and shortcomings, it explains that scholarly assessments of the ICTR rely on two different analytical lenses – a national and/or international perspective – to make claims about the roles of international criminal tribunals. The essay then discusses the ICTR’s interactions with other post-genocide justice mechanisms in Rwanda and the compatibility of concurrent judicial responses to mass violence. In conclusion, it suggests that evolving interpretations of the ICTR’s performance reflect prevailing ideas about the goals and limitations of international criminal tribunals.

Suggested Citation

Labuda, Patryk I., Review Essay: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Post- Genocide Justice 25 Years On (June 12, 2020). European Journal of International Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3712912 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3712912

Patryk I. Labuda (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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