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The moral case for restorative justice as a corollary of the responsibility to protect: A Rwandan case study of the insufficiency of impact of retributive justice on the rights and well-being of genocide survivors.

Schimmel, Noam
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Journal of Human Rights. 11(2): 161-188.

This article analyzes how the current framework of retributive justice pursued by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda fails to respect the human rights and to enable the well-being of Rwandan genocide survivors. Rwandan genocide survivors currently suffer from widespread poverty, lack of access to health care and housing, inadequate educational opportunity, and food insecurity and malnutrition. It calls for the application of restorative justice as an extension of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect for genocide survivors to be included in the remit of the Tribunal and UN humanitarian and development programs in Rwanda. It examines current and past restorative justice programs in various countries around the world to provide tangible examples of ways in which restorative justice can be implemented. It critically questions the moral logic of exclusive reliance on retributive justice that ignores the consequences of genocide by punishing the guilty without simultaneously assisting the victims. Finally, it urges that the Declaration of Basic Principles on Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Human Rights Violations and Article 75 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court be applied to the work of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.(Author’s abstract)


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