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Copyright (c) 2005 New England Journal of International and Comparative Law 
New England Journal of International and Comparative Law

Article: From the ICTR to ICC: Learning From the ICTR Experience in Bringing Justice to Rwandans

Fall, 2005

12 New Eng. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 89


Jean-Marie Kamatali*


Ten years after its creation, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is being hailed as the "first pioneering example of the enforcement of international criminal justice." 1 Surely there are good reasons to celebrate the ICTR's achievements. As of May 2005 it had arrested sixty-nine persons and handed down nineteen judgments involving twenty-five accused. Among those, twenty-two were convicted and three acquitted or released. In addition to these nineteen judgments, nine trials were in progress that involved a total of twenty-five accused. 2 Important achievements of the ICTR include Prosecutor v. Akayesu, the first case in which an international tribunal was called upon to interpret the definition of genocide. 3 This case also emphasized the fact that rape and sexual violence may constitute genocide. 4 Other cases include Prosecutor v. Kambanda, in which for the first time in history, an accused acknowledged his guilt for the crime of genocide before an international criminal tribunal, and a criminal tribunal convicted a head of government for the crime of genocide. 5 Another important case is Prosecutor v. Nahimana [Media Case], which was the first judgment since the conviction of Julius Streicher at Nuremberg after World War II in which a court examined the role of the media in the context of international criminal justice. 6

Although the above achievements are loudly touted in international circles, their meaning remains insignificant in Rwanda. A recent survey conducted in Rwanda revealed that many Rwandans ...
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