Discoveries in the Making
Finding justice in post-conflict Rwanda
In the wake of a genocide that claimed the lives of up to one million Rwandans, the African country is now facing the challenge of bringing the many perpetrators to justice.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has completed only 33 cases since trials began in 1997 and has spent about $1 billion. National courts, though cheaper and faster to run, would still take over 100 years to try all those suspected of involvement in the 1994 mass killings.
The government created popular courts based on a traditional mechanism known as gacaca, whereby the accused are judged and sentenced by non-jurists in their own communities — a controversial move.
Stephen Brown, an associate professor in uOttawa’s School of Political Studies, is researching transitional and traditional justice in Rwanda as part of a larger project led by Professor Chandra Lekha Sriram, director of the University of East London's Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, and funded by the British Academy. The project investigates post-conflict peace building, focusing on the rule of law. It’s particularly interested in the international community’s contributions.
Brown previously conducted research in Rwanda in 2004 on behalf of the International Development Research Centre.
Stephen Brown, School of Political Studies
Tel.: 613-562-5800, ext. 1896
The International Day of Peace is September 21.