Impact of ICTR in Rwanda

Part of the International Conflicts series

Audrey Boctor: Impact of the ICTR in Rwanda

Audrey Boctor of Columbia Law School has shared that Rwandan civilians actually resisted the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).Many of them wanted the death penalty enacted, and wanted proceedings to occur domestically.

As a result, there is a disconnect between national interests in Rwanda and the interests of the international community. Other complicating factors include issues around planners and organizers, the existence of intentional murders, complicity of parties involved, and numerous property offenses.

Interestingly, the Rwandan cabinet did propose an amendment to abolish the death penalty. Some speculate this to be a purely top-down pressure approach, but it could also be due to lack of use of these measures, which had not been implemented since the 80’s.

Furthermore, this political party actually came to power on a platform of repealing the death penalty.

A debate does exist over the utility of the death penalty after genocides. It does not seem to act as a deterrent.

It’s also irreversible, and does not meet the goal of rehabilitation. It’s difficult to look back on other cases and determine the role that the death penalty has played.

These notes are from the Cross-Purposes? International Law and Political Settlements conference at the University of Western Ontario, on Jun. 9-10, 2007, with some editorial content added by Omar Ha-Redeye.

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