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Local Ownership of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Restorative and Retributive Effects

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This article identifies and explores the approach taken by the UN Security Council to local ownership of the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In so doing, the article seeks to contribute toward a comprehensive understanding of the role of the ICTR in transitional Rwanda, as well as to identify lessons for the initiation of ad hoc international criminal tribunals in the future. The perspective that is adopted is centred on considerations of restoration, but attention is also given to the impact of the approach taken to the establishment of the ICTR on the delivery of retribution. A central argument is that the possibility of including a broad range of local input during the establishment of an international criminal tribunal should be taken seriously, as this represents a useful opportunity to enhance the legitimacy of a tribunal and its outcomes. However, it is also contended that any attempt at fostering a sense of local ownership during the establishment of an international criminal tribunal should be tailored to suit the context, in order to reduce the scope for it to have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of a tribunal.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer, Durham Law School, Durham, UK


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