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contribution 06 - WALDORF Lars

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Thank you. I have four minutes, so I will make four short points. I want to begin by thanking the organisers for letting me eavesdrop for the last two and a half days. I appreciate that.

The first issue is what is the impact of the ICTR on national reconciliation or perhaps more realistically on local appeasement. Surprisingly, there are very few studies out there of how ordinary Rwandans on the hills actually perceive the ICTR. This really sort of goes back to an observation that Leslie Haskell made yesterday afternoon.

There have been a few small scale attitudinal surveys that have been conducted, and they show that ordinary Rwandans have little information, understanding, or appreciation for the Tribunal’s work. I was surprised last summer to find the same thing even in Taba.

The larger and more worrisome problem revealed by these and other studies is that many Hutu on the hills do see the ICTR as victor’s justice, and that doesn’t help promote long‑term reconciliation or local appeasement.

The second issue is: What is the impact of the ICTR on national institutions in Rwanda? Through the Rule 11 bis transfer cases, the ICTR has clearly helped push Rwanda to improve its judicial sector and its guarantees of human rights. An outstanding issue, however, that Rwanda still has to address, if I think it is to convince the ICTR Judges to allow transfers, is to redraft the genocide ideology law currently in effect.

Last year the Rwandan Minister of Justice accused Alison Des Forges of genocidal ideology. That clearly discourages potential Defence witnesses from coming forward to testify in future trials.

Now I want to turn to the larger theme of the Conference, which unfortunately sometimes got a little lost. Is the ICTR a model for international justice?

I worry that the ICTR may be something of a model for the ICC in two key respects. The Prosecutor’s referral of the RPF case may be a harbinger of how complementarily may play out at the ICC. What I find most worrisome is the lack of transparency about the criteria used to assess a State’s domestic proceedings.

Also, the ICTR, unlike the ICTY and Sierra Leone Court, has dispensed victor’s justice so far. The ICC now seems to be taking somewhat the same path, at least when it comes to State referrals. The ICC Prosecutor only indicts non‑State actors, perhaps because he can see what happened when his colleagues at the ICTR had thought about prosecuting the RPF.

My final question is whether the ICTR has built a larger constituency for ending impunity in Africa? Recent news at the African Union to reduce State cooperation with the ICC and with universal jurisdiction do not all go wrong. Thank you.


Thank you very much. In anticipation of the discussions to come, I will give the floor to Professor William Schabas of Ireland University.