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Key lessons in terms of peace and justice from Rwanda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Nuremberg Principles Academy
Subtitle of host publicationNuremberg Forum 2017
Pages67-69
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2018

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Abstract

The Nuremberg Declaration on Peace and Justice aspires to “guide those involved at the local, national and international levels” in their decision-making on how to establish both a just and peaceful response to large scale atrocity. In the wake of the 1994 genocide, Rwanda provides an early example of international, national and localized post-conflict courts operating in concert with one another. Examining how the ICTR, the national Rwandan courts, and the gacaca community courts have interacted with one another offers key insights in how to realize this aspiration of integrated multi-level decision-making. The case of the Rwandan courts brings into focus two key lessons for future practice: first, when looking at holistic and multi-level responses to mass atrocity, compatibility between concurrent international, national and localized initiatives cannot be assumed. However, such compatibility can be fostered through equal dialogue and exchange on the objectives of justice-seeking processes, fostering inclusivity and co-operation among the people involved. Second, the legitimacy of these justice institutions is of central importance and can be enhanced through identifying and working with the existing assets and capacities within violence affected communities while acknowledging the real constraints under which they may be operating.

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