THE PRECEDENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA
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Following the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established to prosecute those most responsible for their violations of international law. The Tribunal marked the first prosecution of the crime of genocide. The unprecedented nature of the prosecution of the crime resulted in initial inconsistencies and a lack of clarity of the definition. This study examined the evolution of the legal definition for the crime of genocide through qualitative analyses of the trial documents in selected case studies from the ICTR, as well as subsequent cases of the prosecution of genocide outside of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The cases highlighted a convergence over time for the establishment of group definition, intent, and witness credibility across cases in the Tribunal, with a diminishing role for witness testimonies in later cases of genocide. The eventual coherent and clear application of the definition for the crime of genocide in the ICTR provides valuable precedent for the potential of faster, more consistent future prosecutions of crimes of genocide. In their slight divergence from the ICTR’s precedent, however, later cases of genocide demonstrate the necessity of considering of the work of international courts.
DepartmentPublic Policy Studies
CitationWhite, Elizabeth (2017). THE PRECEDENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/13990.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers