Kantonen 2006 Genocide

Title Information

Author: Arto Kantonen

Title: Rwanda Crisis and Genocide in Case Law of Rwanda Tribunal

Subtitle: -

Thesis: Master's Thesis, University of Helsinki

Year: April 2006

Pages: x + 69pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Rwandan History | Prosecution: Trials / International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Types: Genocidal Rape / Rwandan Genocide

Full Text

Link: Doria [Free Access]

Additional Information


»After the Second World War the public was shocked to learn about the horrors perpetrated. As a response to the Holocaust, the newly established United Nations adopted the Genocide Convention of 1948 to prevent future genocides and to punish the perpetrators. The Convention remained, however, almost dead letter until the present day.
In 1994, the long-lasted tension between the major groups of Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda erupted in mass scale violence towards the Tutsi ethnic group. The purpose was to eradicate the Tutsi population of Rwanda. The international community did not halt the genocide. It stood by idle, failing to follow the swearing-in of the past.
The United Nations established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (the ICTR) to bring to justice persons responsible for the genocide. Ever since its creation the ICTR has delivered a wealth of judgements elucidating the legal ingredients of the crime of genocide.
The case law on determining the membership of national, ethnic, racial or religious groups has gradually shifted from the objective to subjective position. The membership of a group is seen as a subjective rather than objective concept. However, a totally subjective approach is not accepted. Therefore, it is necessary to determine some objective existence of a group.
The provision on the underlying offences is not so difficult to interpret compared to the corresponding one on the protected groups and the mental element of genocide. The case law examined, e.g., whether there is any difference between the words killing and meurtre, the nature of mental harm caused by the perpetrator and sexual violence in the conflict.
The mental element of genocide or dolus specialis of genocide is not thoroughly examined in the case law of the ICTR. In this regard, reference in made, in addition, to the case law of the other ad hoc Tribunal.
The ICTR has made a significant contribution to the law of genocide and international criminal justice in general. The corpus of procedural and substantive law constitutes a basis for subsequent trials in international and hybrid tribunals. For national jurisdictions the jurisprudence on substantive law is useful while prosecuting international crimes.« [Source: Doria]


  References (p. iv)
  Abbreviations (p. x)
  1 Introduction (p. 1)
    1.1 Rwanda Crisis (p. 1)
    1.2 The ICTR Case Law (p. 2)
  2 Rwanda Genodice and International Reaction (p. 3)
    2.1 Historical Remarks (p. 3)
    2.2 The 1994 Genocide in Rwanda (p. 4)
      2.2.1 The Downing of the Aeroplane Carrying the Rwandese President (p. 4)
      2.2.2 First Victims (p. 5)
      2.2.3 Hate speeches on the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (p. 6)
      2.2.4 Parties to the Conflict (p. 7) Three Categories of Individuals Responsible for the Genocide (p. 7) Victims (p. 8) Bystanders to the Conflict (p. 8)
      2.2.5 How Many Were Killed? – The Problem of Figurs (p. 9)
    2.3 Investigation of Human Rights Violations – First Steps Towards the Tribunal (p. 10)
      2.3.1 High Commissioner for Human Rights (p. 10)
      2.3.2 Special Rapporteur for Rwanda (p. 11)
      2.3.3 Commission of Experts (p. 11)
  3 Jurisdiction of the Tribunal and Applicable Law (p. 13)
    3.1 Resolution 955 of 1994 (p. 13)
      3.1.1 Jurisdiction of the Tribunal (p. 14) Limited Jurisdiction (p. 14) Subject Matter Jurisdiction (p. 15)
    3.2 International Criminal Law (p. 17)
    3.3 Genocide in International Law (p. 18)
      3.3.1 Concept of Genocide (p. 18)
      3.3.2 Definition of Genocide (p. 19)
  4 The Crime of Genocide in the Case Law of the Tribunal (p. 20)
    4.1 Introduction (p. 20)
    4.2 Akayesu Trial (p. 22)
    4.3 Protected Groups (p. 24)
      4.3.1 National Group (p. 29)
      4.3.2 Ethnical/Ethnic Group (p. 31)
      4.3.3 Racial Group (p. 33)
      4.3.4 Religious Group (p. 35)
      4.3.5 "Permanent and Stable Groups" (p. 36)
      4.3.6 Conclusion (p. 38)
    4.4 Underlying Offences (p. 40)
      4.4.1 Killing Members of the Group (p. 42)
      4.4.2 Causing Serious Bodily or Mental Harm to Members of the Group (p. 44)
      4.4.3 Inflicting on the Group Conditions of Life (p. 46)
      4.4.4 Preventing Births within the Group (p. 48)
      4.4.5 Forcibly Transferring Children (p. 49)
      .4.4.6 Rape as an Act of Genocide (p. 50)
      4.4.7 Conclusion (p. 52)
    4.5 Mental Element of Mens Rea of Genocide (p. 52)
      4.5.1 Knowledge (p. 53)
      4.5.2 Intent (p. 55) Specific Intent of Dolus Specialis (p. 56) Proof of Intent (p. 58)
      4.5.3 Components of Specific Intent (p. 59) "To Destroy" (p. 60) "In Whole or in Part" (p. 61)
      4.5.4 "As Such" – Question of Motive (p. 64)
      4.5.5 Conclusion (p. 67)
  5 Concluding Remarks (p. 68)

Wikipedia: Genocidal rape, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Rape during the Rwandan Genocide, Rwandan Genocide

Added: February 8, 2014 | Last updated: February 8, 2014