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Community Justice for Genocide: The Gacaca Courts, Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda

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  • UserDr. Phil Clark, Research Fellow in Courts and Public Policy, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford
  • ClockTuesday 03 June 2008, 13:30-15:30
  • HouseCRASSH Seminar Room, 17 Mill Lane.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dacia Viejo Rose.

In 1994, the Rwandan genocide claimed the lives of 800,000 Tutsi and their Hutu and Twa sympathisers in one of the twentieth century’s worst waves of mass killing. Seven years later, the Rwandan government responded to the problem of 120,000 genocide suspects languishing in prison by instituting gacaca, a system of 9000 community courts based on a traditional mode of conflict resolution and transformed to prosecute genocide cases. Human rights groups and international observers protested that gacaca would be nothing more than mob justice and predicted that the courts would inflame tensions between Hutu and Tutsi. Drawing on seven years of research, including firsthand observations of community hearings and hundreds of interviews with gacaca judges, genocide suspects and survivors and Rwandan government officials, Dr. Phil Clark explores the social and political impact of the gacaca process and the prospects for justice, reconciliation and long-term peace and stability in Rwanda and the wider Great Lakes region.

Bio: Dr. Phil Clark is a Research Fellow in Courts and Public Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, and co-convenor of Oxford Transitional Justice Research.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Post-Conflict and Post-Crisis Group series.

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