Back to RJ Archive

Hybridity, holism, and “traditional” justice: The case of the Gacaca courts in post-genocide Rwanda.

Clark, Phil
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) George Washington International Law Review. 39:765-837.

This article clarifies the genesis and operation of the Rwandan system of gacaca, which is also embedded within a hybrid structure or responding to mass crimes, situating it within the broader realm of transitional justice. Gacaca is comprised of approximately 9000 community-based courts, each overseen by locally-elected judges and designed to adjudicate the cases of suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide, during which approximately 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu and Twa, considered Tutsi sympathizers, were killed, many by their friends, neighbours and even family members. Gacaca operates alongside the UN International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Rwandan national courts. In this hybrid system, which Madeleine Morris terms one of “stratified-concurrent jurisdiction,” different judicial bodies have priority jurisdiction over any given case. (excerpt_


AbstractAfricaPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in Schools
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