Saul, Matthew. “Local Ownership of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Restorative and Retributive Effects.” International Criminal Law Review 12, no. 3 (2012): 427-456.

Monday 7 November 2022

This article focuses on the court systems in the wake of the Rwandan genocide which targeted the people responsible for the organisation of mass killings, as well as individual criminals in isolated villages. Saul praises the coupling of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with individual gacaca, a formula which has enabled transitional justice to take place, which was highly necessary in Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide.

Though acknowledging the flaws of the system which was put in place, the author praises the specificity with which it was applied. He argues that the uniqueness of issues requires corresponding uniqueness in their solutions, and he praises the courts’ expressed intentions of bringing divided people together.

The main lesson which the author calls on us to draw from the tragedy is to realise the benefits of local ownership. Despite the nuances to its success and the flaws which have become apparent, it is an almost inherently virtuous concept [not sure what the words since the comma mean] which is a great example of the sort of conceptually successful ideas with practically beneficial results which peace research should focus on. Those should be taken on and [remove ‘taken on and’? or replace with something clearer?] explored individually to learn as much as possible, with a twofold focus on both practical information and theoretical successes [not sure what ‘theoretical successes’ means here].

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