The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
) is an international court
International courts are formed by treaties between nations, or under the authority of an international organization such as the United Nations — this includes ad hoc tribunals and permanent institutions, but excludes any courts arising purely under national authority.Early examples of...
established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...
in Resolution 955
United Nations Security Council Resolution 955, adopted on November 8, 1994, after recalling all resolutions on Rwanda, the Council noted that serious violations of international humanitarian law had taken place in the country and, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, established...
in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...
and other serious violations of international law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...
, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.
In 1995 it became located in Arusha
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania. It is the capital of the Arusha Region, which claims a population of 1,288,088, including 281,608 for the Arusha District . Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks...
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...
, under Resolution 977
United Nations Security Council Resolution 977, adopted unanimously on February 22, 1995, after recalling Resolution 955 in which the Council was to determine the seat of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and noting a report by the Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Council...
. (From 2006, Arusha also became the location of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was a regional court that was created initially to make judgments on African Union states' compliance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights....
). In 1998 the operation of the tribunal was expanded in Resolution 1165
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1165, adopted unanimously on April 30, 1998, after recalling Resolution 955 , the Council established a third trial chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda ....
. Through several resolutions, the Security Council called on the tribunal to complete its investigations by end of 2004, complete all trial activities by end of 2008, and complete all work in 2012.
The tribunal has jurisdiction over genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...
, crimes against humanity and war crimes, which are defined as violations of Common Article Three and Additional Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...
(dealing with war crimes committed during internal conflicts).
So far, the tribunal has finished 50 trials and convicted 29 accused persons. Another 11 trials are in progress. 14 individuals are awaiting trial in detention; but the prosecutor intends to transfer 5 to national jurisdiction for trial. 13 others are still at large, some suspected to be dead. The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu
Jean-Paul Akayesu is a former teacher, school inspector, and Mouvement Démocratique Républicain politician from Rwanda. He served as mayor of Taba commune from April 1993 until June 1994....
, began in 1997. Jean Kambanda
Jean Kambanda was the Prime Minister in the caretaker government of Rwanda from the start of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide...
, interim Prime Minister, pleaded guilty. According to the ICTR's Completion Strategy, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1503
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1503, adopted unanimously on August 28, 2003, after recalling resolutions 827 , 955 , 978 , 1165 , 1166 , 1329 , 1411 , 1431 and 1481 , the Council decided to split the prosecutorial duties of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ...
, all first-instance cases were to have completed trial by the end of 2008 (this date was later extended to the end of 2009) and all work is to be completed by 2010. It has recently been discussed that these goals may not be realistic and are likely to change. The United Nations Security Council called upon the tribunal to finish its work by 31 December 2014 to prepare for its closure and transfer of its responsibilities to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals is a mechanism established by United Nations Security Council resolution 1966 to finish the work begun by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda . It will be subdivided...
which will begin functioning for the ICTR branch on 1 July 2012.
In March 2010, the ICTR announced plans to digitize all video recordings of the trials, both audio and video, in all three languages (English, French, Kinyarwanda). This is part of a larger project that included digitizing audio recordings.
The trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu established precedent
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...
is a crime of genocide. "...the [Trial] Chamber finds that in most cases, the rapes of Tutsi women in Taba, were accompanied with the intent to kill those women. ... In this respect, it appears clearly to the chamber that the acts of rape and sexual violence, as other acts of serious bodily and mental harm committed against the Tutsi, reflected the determination to make Tutsi women suffer and to mutilate them even before killing them, the intent being to destroy the Tutsi group while inflicting acute suffering on its members in the process." Presiding judge Navanethem Pillay said in a statement after the verdict: "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war."
Trial against "hate media"
The trial against "hate media" began on 23 October 2000. It is charged with the prosecution of the media which encouraged the genocide of 1994.
On 19 August 2003, at the tribunal in Arusha, life sentences were requested for Ferdinand Nahimana
Ferdinand Nahimana is a Rwandan historian who was convicted of participating in the Rwandan Genocide.Nahimana was co-founder of the radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines but not the director, which during the genocide broadcast information and propaganda that helped coordinate...
, and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza
Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza was a Rwandan diplomat and the chairman of the executive committee for the Rwandan radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines from 1993 and during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide....
, persons in charge for the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role during the April–July 1994 Rwandan Genocide....
, as well as Hassan Ngeze
Hassan Ngeze is a Rwandan journalist, best known for publishing the "Hutu Ten Commandments", which fomented anti-Tutsi feeling among Rwandan Hutus prior to the Rwandan Genocide....
, director and editor of the Kangur newspaper. They were charged with genocide, incitement to genocide, and crimes against humanity, before and during the period of the genocides of 1994. On 3 December 2003, the court found all three defendants guilty and sentenced Nahimana and Ngeze to life imprisonment and Barayagwiza to imprisonment for 35 years. On 28 November 2007, the Appeals Chamber partially allowed appeals against conviction from all three men, reducing their sentences to 30 years' imprisonment for Nahimana, 32 years' imprisonment for Barayagwiza and 35 years' imprisonment for Ngeze.
No prosecutions have been brought against the founders, sponsors or anyone related to Radio Muhabura, a media whose pro-RPF
The Rwandan Patriotic Front abbreviated as RPF is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. It governs in a coalition with other parties...
messages were broadcast throughout the country during the 1990-1994 war.
The tribunal consists of 16 judges in four "chambers" - three to hear trials, and one to hear appeals. In addition, there are 9 ad litem
Ad litem is a term used in law to refer to a party appointed by a court to act in a lawsuit on behalf of another party—for instance, a child or an incapacitated adult—who is deemed incapable of representing him or herself...
judges, making 25 in all. At present, all 9 ad litem
judges are assigned to Chambers II and III. There is an additional pool of 9 further ad litem
judges who may be called on in the case of a judge being absent.
The column denoted by #
indicates the order of precedence
An order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of items. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments...
Trial Chamber I
Trial Chamber II
|| Country of Origin
||Joseph Asoka Nihal De Silva
||Solomy Balungi Bossa
||Member (Ad litem judge)
||Lee Gacugia Muthoga
||Member (Ad litem judge)
||Emile Francis Short
||Member (Ad litem judge)
||Member (Ad litem judge)
||Member (Ad litem judge)
Trial Chamber III
Office of the Prosecutor
The Office of the Prosecutor is divided into two Sections:
Hassan Bubacar Jallow
- The Investigation Section is responsible for collecting evidence implicating individuals in crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994.
- The Prosecution Section is responsible for prosecuting all cases before the Tribunal.
Hassan Bubacar Jallow is a Gambian lawyer, politician, and jurist and has been the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003....
of The Gambia
The Republic of The Gambia, commonly referred to as The Gambia, or Gambia , is a country in West Africa. Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the west....
is the current prosecutor. He has previously served as The Gambia's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice from 1984 to 1994, and subsequently as a Judge of Supreme Court of The Gambia from 1998 to 2002. He was appointed by the Security Council on September 15, 2003 to replace Carla Del Ponte
Carla Del Ponte is a former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals. A former Swiss attorney general, she was appointed prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in August...
The Registry is responsible for the overall administration and management of the ICTR. It also performs other legal functions assigned to it by the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and is the Tribunal’s channel of communication.
The Registry is headed by the Registrar, who is the Representative of the UN Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....
. Adama Dieng
Adama Dieng is a former board member of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda....
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...
is the present Registrar. He took office in March 2001.
Related legal activities
French investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière
Jean-Louis Bruguière was the leading French investigating magistrate in charge of counter-terrorism affairs. He was appointed in 2004 vice-president of the Paris Court of Serious Claims . He has garnered controversy for various acts, including the indictment of Rwandan president Paul Kagame for the...
is also pursuing a case against the current President, Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...
, and other members of his administration, for the assassination of his predecessor. This case is under the regular jurisdiction of the French courts because French citizens were also killed in the plane crash.
To date the ICTR has indicted 92 individuals. Two individuals are in detention awaiting trial, one of whom is appealing his transfer to Rwanda after the case against him was referred to the Rwandan justice system. Additionally, five individuals are currently on trial, 19 are appealing their sentences, eight have been acquitted and released from detention, and two are awaiting the appeal of their acquittals. Proceedings against four individuals were terminated after two died and after indictments against two were withdrawn. The cases against two individuals were transferred to national jurisdictions. The Tribunal has finished proceedings against 29 individuals who are currently serving prison sentences, nine who have finished their sentences and have been released, and three who have died while serving prison sentences. Nine individuals remain at large as fugitives.
- Command responsibility
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....
- Joint Criminal Enterprise
Joint criminal enterprise ' is a legal doctrine used by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to prosecute political and military leaders for mass war crimes, including genocide, committed during the Yugoslav wars 1991-1999....
- International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...
- Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC)
The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project is an initiative of the to support the application and implementation of the international law of armed conflict.-Overview:...
- Gacaca court
The Gacaca court is part of a system of community justice inspired by tradition and established in 2001 in Rwanda, in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, when between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsi, were slaughtered...
- The Church and the Rwandan Genocide
- Global Justice or Global Revenge
Global Justice or Global Revenge? International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads is a book by Austrian philosopher Hans Köchler, who was appointed by the United Nations as observer of the Lockerbie bombing trial in the Netherlands...
? by Hans Köchler
Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...