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Centre of African Studies: Events


PSRP Researcher Presenting: Book Launch of “Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts, Seeking Justice after Genocide”

PSRP Researcher Presenting: Book Launch of “Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts, Seeking Justice after Genocide”
Speaker: Dr Bert Ingelaere # University of Antwerp
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Date and Time
2nd Mar 2017 17:00 - 2nd Mar 2017 19:00
G.04, 50 George Square

The School of Law and the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh invite you to the book launch of “Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts, Seeking Justice after Genocide” by Bert Ingelaere.

Chair: Kasey McCall-Smith (School of Law, University of Edinburgh)


  • Bert Ingeleare (Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp),
  • Astrid Jamar (Political Settlement Research Programme, University of Edinburgh)
  • Lars Waldorf (Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York)

Closing Remarks: Gerhard Anders (Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh)

After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, victims, perpetrators, and the country as a whole struggled to deal with the legacy of the mass violence. The government responded by creating a new version of a traditional grassroots justice system called Gacaca. Bert Ingelaere reviews in this book what these courts set out to do, how they worked, what they achieved, what they did not achieve, and how they affected Rwandan society.

The speakers will address the book’s contributions towards the understanding of the Gacaca process and wider debates about challenges faced when seeking justice for mass violence. The speakers approach the Gacaca process from different disciplines – namely anthropology, international development and human rights – and cover various phases of the process from its preparation in the mid-1900s to the closure of Gacaca Courts in 2012. Discussions from these different perspectives will address how Rwandan people engaged in the process; how social and political dynamics varied in each community; how international donors and aid-dependent organisations shaped the process; and the legal and institutional dimensions of the process.

Prior their academic career, both Astrid Jamar and Lars Waldorf worked on the Gacaca monitoring with international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Avocats Sans Frontières and Penal Reform International. These experiences and the different research focuses will lead to rich discussions about this extraordinary judicial institution dealing with genocide crimes, post-conflict justice and peace-building. The event will underline the relevance of the Gacaca process for wider questions related to the Rwandan Genocide, human rights, transitional justice, African studies and legal anthropology.

This event is sponsored by the Global Justice and Global Development Academies’ Innovative Initiative Fund and the Center for African Studies. Registration is not required and there will be a reception after the launch.

More details about the book
Video about “Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts, Seeking Justice after Genocide”