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International Justice for Rwanda Missing the Point: Questioning the Relevance of Classical Criminal Law Theory.

Maogoto, Jackson Nyamuya
June 4, 2015

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.


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