Source: (2001) Bond Law Review. 13(1): 190-223. Downloaded 14 November 2005.The traditional approach to criminal justice faces the challenge of balancing multiple goals, usually expressed as deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution which focus on crime control. A restorative approach seems needed in all societies that have suffered massive and collective victimisation, and must be kept in mind in Rwanda by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as it implements its overall strategy. The ICTR’s almost exclusive focus on concrete entities; the individual (actor-orientated perspective) as a building block of the genocidal reality, distorts and obscures the ethno-centric social reality (structure-orientated perspective) that converted tens of thousands of Hutus into a mass of killers, turning on their friends, neighbours and colleagues. The main focus for the punishment of war criminals must remain at the national level, although the existence of an international tribunal legitimises the criminalisation of internal atrocities. The ugliness of internal strife and the political reality of the ethnic hatred cannot be isolated into an international courtroom for resolution. Author's abstract.