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Restorative Justice after Civil Conflict: The Case of Rwanda.

Ascher, Wendy
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Paper for Law and Development class, James B. Greenberg, University of Arizona, Fall. Downloaded 2 November 2005.

Restorative justice views crime as a harm against the community and against the victim. Restorative justice emphasizes repairing harm, healing, and rebuilding relationships among victims, the offenders, and the communities. Crime is a violation of relationships and people. Restorative justice goals are the acceptance of responsibility by offenders, reparations of harm, strengthening the connections of victims and offenders to their community, and more stable and peaceful communities.
This paper discusses the application of the principles of restorative justice to international crimes and conflicts as is being done in Rwanda. The scale of the genocide in Rwanda, where the death toll is estimated at more than 10% of the national population is mind boggling. The government concluded that conventional style justice could not be the only solution to the problems. The Gacaca (ga-CHA-ca) courts represent an adaptation and revival of a traditional community conflict resolution system. This innovation has garnered media as well as academic attention. Author’s abstract.


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