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Western and Local Approaches to Justice in Rwanda

Uvin, Peter
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Global Governance. 9: 219-231.

Peter Uvin and Charles Mironko assert that Rwanda represents an important test case for the emerging international post-conflict agenda. In the wake of the worst genocide of the late twentieth century, the international community has invested massively in justice and human rights to restore peace and promote democracy and reconciliation in Rwanda. There are currently three types of efforts to deal with the perpetrators of the genocide: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; the formal domestic justice system; and gacaca. Uvin and Mironko argue that the first two Western-inspired systems of justice have proven incapable of addressing Rwanda’s needs. The third system, gacaca, offers a promising alternative, but also poses risks. Thus in this article, Uvin and Mironko analyze local politics and perceptions of post-genocide justice in Rwanda, and the relationship of justice to peace, democracy, and reconciliation.


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