Added: March 4, 2017 – Last updated: March 4, 2017


Authors: Barbora Hola and Hollie Nyseth Brehm

Title: Punishing Genocide

Subtitle: A Comparative Empirical Analysis of Sentencing Laws and Practices at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwandan Domestic Courts, and Gacaca Courts

Journal: Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

Volume: 10

Issue: 3

Year: 2016

Pages: 59-80

ISSN: 1911-0359 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1911-9933 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Rwandan History | Prosecution: Trials / Gacaca Courts, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Types: Genocidal Rape / Rwandan Genocide


Link: Scholar Commons: Digital Repository of the University of South Florida (Free Access)



Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University

Barbora Holá, (Department of Criminal Law and Criminology), Vrije Universiteit

Abstract: »This article compares sentencing of those convicted of participation in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. With over one million people facing trial, Rwanda constitutes the world’s most comprehensive case of criminal accountability after genocide and presents an important case study of punishing genocide. Criminal courts at three different levels— international, domestic, and local—sought justice in the aftermath of the violence. In order to compare punishment at each level, we analyze an unprecedented database of sentences given by the ICTR, the Rwandan domestic courts, and Rwanda’s Gacaca courts. The analysis demonstrates that sentencing varied across the three levels—ranging from limited time in prison to death sentences. We likewise find that sentencing at the domestic courts appears to have been comparatively more serious than sentencing at the ICTR and at the Gacaca courts, which calls into question the consistency of sentences across levels of justice and should be explored in future research.« (Source: Genocide Studies and Prevention)


  Abstract (p. 59)
  Introduction (p. 59)
  Three Levels of Justice After Genocide (p. 60)
    International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (p. 61)
    Domestic Courts in Rwanda (p. 62)
    Gacaca Courts in Rwanda (p. 63)
  Methodology (p. 64)
    Data (p. 65)
  Sentencing Laws at the ICTR and in Rwanda (p. 67)
  Sentencing Practices/Outcomes at the ICTR and in Rwanda (p. 72)
    ICTR and Category 1 Offenders at Domestic Courts and Gacaca Courts (p. 72)
    Category 2 Offenders at Domestic Courts and Gacaca (p. 75)
  Conclusion (p. 77)
  Bibliography (p. 78)
  Laws and Statutes (p. 80)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Rwanda | Court: Gacaca court | Court: International court / International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda | Genocide: Rwandan genocide / Rape during the Rwandan Genocide | Sex and the law: Genocidal rape