‘When we walk out, what was it all about?’: Views on new beginnings from within the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Eltringham, Nigel (2014) ‘When we walk out, what was it all about?’: Views on new beginnings from within the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Development and Change, 45 (3). pp. 543-564. ISSN 0012-155X

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Abstract

The 1994 United Nations Security Council resolution which created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) foresaw it marking a ‘new beginning’, both locally (peace and reconciliation in Rwanda) and globally (strengthening the project of international criminal justice). Over time, those who spoke on behalf of the ICTR highlighted the strictly quantifiable (number of arrests, convictions) and the contributions to the global ‘new beginning’ for international criminal justice. Ethnographic fieldwork at the ICTR, however, revealed that lawyers and judges, enmeshed in the Tribunal's institutional order, held diverse views regarding local and global efficacy, refracted through the sense of power(lessness) that accompanied their respective institutional locations. Focusing on the attitude of judges and lawyers to the lack of indictments for members of the Rwandan Patriotic Army for alleged massacres in 1994 and accusations of ‘victor's justice’, this article distinguishes between the ICTR as a disembodied institution that did or did not mark local or global ‘new beginnings’, and the ICTR as a collection of situated persons negotiating their simultaneous empowerment and disempowerment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN492 Political organisation. Political anthropology
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2014 15:26
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2016 08:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/48309
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