Source: (2004) Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE). 4(3). March. Downloaded 12 August 2005.

[1] The Gacaca (ga-CHA-cha) trials in Rwanda represent a radical and necessary alternative to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the reconstructed state judicial system. Attempts to legitimate the establishment of a traditional community justice approach have focused primarily on three issues: (1) dislodging an entrenched culture of impunity; (2) responding to the prison crisis; and (3) providing opportunities for all persons to participate in the judicial process. A tone of resignation underscores many of the attempts to justify Gacaca; it is understood as a measure of last resort, necessitated by what one observer notes is the “impossibility of justice” in post-genocide Rwanda. At the same time, there are signs of cautious optimism among Rwandans who, in general, have expressed support for the alternative system.(excerpt)

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