Back to RJ Archive

Dealing with mass atrocities and ethnic violence: Can alternative forms of justice be effective?

Drew, Philip J
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Alberta, Canada: Canadian Forum on Civil Justice.

Drew explores the troubles in Rwanda as an example of the difficulties that confront countries as they try to move from violent conflict to democratic rule. Specifically, how can they acknowledge and deal with past wrongs, especially in ways that offer hope for social rebuilding and reconciliation? Drew summarizes the genocidal terror that wracked Rwanda in 1994 and the various post-conflict efforts (national and international) to illuminate the wrongs committed and hold perpetrators accountable. His discussion includes aspects of ethnicity, culture, and legal traditions and developments in Rwanda that contributed to the violence and to complexities in the post-terror period in dealing with perpetrators and victims of the violence. Significant attention is given to a recommendation from a National Reconciliation Commission that Rwanda adopt the traditional Gacaca – a form of mediation performed by a village council of elders to promote justice and reconciliation at the communal level.


AbstractPrison Cell
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now