Justice without Lawyers: Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts phenomenon

Phil's bookIn June 2012, Rwanda completed the most comprehensive post-conflict justice programme attempted anywhere in the world. Over the last decade, 11,000 community-based Gacaca courts, overseen by locally-elected judges and barring any participation by lawyers, have prosecuted around 400,000 suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

Nearly every Rwandan adult has participated in Gacaca in some way, either as a witness, defendant or by attending weekly hearings. Under Gacaca’s plea-bargaining scheme, the vast majority of those convicted of genocide crimes have had their sentences commuted to community service. If they were among the 120,000 suspects imprisoned directly after the genocide, they have now been reintegrated into the same communities where they committed crimes and live side-by-side with genocide survivors and their families.

To read mor, see http://academics.cup.co.za/?m=1&idkey=599

 


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