Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

The Gacaca courts also faced issues since some government officials had feared that gacaca might not be the right mechanism for genocide trials, given the gravity and complexity of the crimes. The conventional form of gacaca had only been used for minor civil disputes involving property, inheritance, personal injury, and marital relations; the more serious cases such as murder were reserved for resolution by village chiefs or the leader’s representative because the gacaca courts were seen as incapable of these big crimes by most people, even though they still helped with a lot of trials. These government officials worried that judges would struggle to correctly apply the law, given that many had no formal education or training. They warned of the risk of bias, stressing that the local setting meant judges would inevitably know the parties in a case which would reduce their objectivity and increase the risk of corruption. Some survivors did not receive any compensation for their lost property or any injuries,     Most significantly, these government officials warned that gacaca procedures would fail to comply with Rwanda’s international fair trial obligations. Nearly 10 years after gacaca began, many of these concerns have turned out to be justifiable. “The gacaca laws tried to strike a balance by protecting some rights, including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; modifying others, such as the right to have adequate time to prepare a defense; and sacrificing others altogether, including the right to a lawyer.” ( human rights watch) Not all prisoners were treated fairly within the gacaca system but it did speed up the process. When it came to sentencing prisoners there were about 3 category of offenders in response to genocide, the first would usually be a life sentence, the second would be about 5 to 10 years in prison and the third would be a fine to pay for the damage that was caused during the Rwandan genocide. Prisoners who confessed about their participation before they were convicted would receive a shorter sentence and those who confessed before they were even accused had an even shorter sentence than the rest. So in a way that was pretty fair for prisoners within the judicial system, yes there were a lot of unfairness but at the same time prisoners were given some rights and justification.   

Post Author: admin


I'm Dora!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out