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The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), or the Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda (TPIR), is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan genocide and other serious violations of the international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.[1]

In 1995 it became located in Arusha, Tanzania.[2] (From 2006, Arusha also became the location of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights). In 1998 the operation of the Tribunal was expanded.[3] Through several resolutions, the Security Council called on the Tribunal to complete its investigations by end of 2004, complete all trial activities by end of 2008, and complete all work in 2012.[4]

The tribunal has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, which are defined as violations of Common Article Three and Additional Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions (dealing with war crimes committed during internal conflicts).

So far, the Tribunal has finished 21 trials and convicted 29 accused persons. Another 11 trials are in progress. 14 individuals are awaiting trial in detention; but the prosecutor intends to transfer 5 to national jurisdiction for trial. 13 others are still at large, some suspected to be dead.[5]The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu, began in 1997. Jean Kambanda, interim Prime Minister, pleaded guilty. According to the ICTR's Completion Strategy, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1503, all first-instance cases were to have completed trial by the end of 2008 (this date was later extended to the end of 2009[6]) and all work is to be completed by 2010. It has recently been discussed that these goals may not be realistic and are likely to change.



The trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu established precedents that rape is a crime of genocide. The Trial Chamber held that "sexual assault formed an integral part of the process of destroying the Tutsi ethnic group and that the rape was systematic and had been perpetrated against Tutsi women only, manifesting the specific intent required for those acts to constitute genocide."[7] Presiding judge Navanethem Pillay said in a statement after the verdict: "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war."[8]

Trial against "hate media"

The trial against "hate media" began on 23 October 2000. It is charged with the prosecution of the media which encouraged the genocide of 1994.

On 19 August 2003, at the tribunal in Arusha, life sentences were requested for Ferdinand Nahimana, and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, persons in charge for the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, as well as Hassan Ngeze, director and editor of the Kangur newspaper. They were charged with genocide, incitement to genocide, and crimes against humanity, before and during the period of the genocides of 1994. On 3 December 2003, the court found all three defendants guilty and sentenced Nahimana and Ngeze to life imprisonment and Barayagwiza to imprisonment for 35 years. on 28 November 2007, the Appeals Chamber partially allowed appeals against conviction from all three men, reducing their sentences to 30 years' imprisonment for Nahimana, 32 years' imprisonment for Barayagwiza and 35 years' imprisonment for Ngeze.

No prosecutions have been brought against the founders, sponsors or anyone related to Radio Muhabura, a media whose pro-RPF messages were broadcast throughout the country during the 1990-1994 war.


The Tribunal consists of 16 Judges in four "chambers" - three to hear trials, and one to hear appeals. In addition, there are 9 ad litem judges, making 25 in all. At present, all 9 ad litem judges are assigned to Chambers II and III. There is an additional pool of 9 further ad litem judges who may be called on in the case of a judge being absent.

The column denoted by # indicates the order of precedence.

Trial Chamber I

# Judge Country of Origin Status
5. Erik Møse Norway Presiding Judge
13. Bakhtiyar R.Tuzmukhamedov Russia Member
23. Joseph Masanche Tanzania Member (Ad litem judge)
24. Mparany Rajohnson Madagascar Member (Ad litem judge)

Trial Chamber II

# Judge Country of Origin Status
4. William Sekule Tanzania Presiding Judge
12. Arlette Ramaroson Madagascar Member
14. Joseph Asoka Nihal De Silva Sri Lanka Member
15. Solomy Balungi Bossa Uganda Member (Ad litem judge)
16. Lee Gacugia Muthoga Kenya Member (Ad litem judge)
18. Emile Francis Short Ghana Member (Ad litem judge)
19. Taghrid Hikmet Jordan Member (Ad litem judge)
20. Seon Ki Park South Korea Member (Ad litem judge)

Trial Chamber III

# Judge Country of Origin Status
2. Khalida Rachid Khan Pakistan Presiding Judge (Vice-President ICTR)
1. Dennis Byron Saint Kitts and Nevis Member (President ICTR)
17. Florence Rita Arrey Cameroon Member (Ad litem judge)
21. Gberdao Gustave Kam Burkina Faso Member (Ad litem judge)
22. Vagn Joensen Denmark Member (Ad litem judge)
22. Aydin Akay Turkey Member (Ad litem judge)

Appeals Chamber

# Judge Country of Origin Status
3. Patrick Robinson Jamaica Presiding Judge
10. Theodor Meron United States member
7. Fausto Pocar Italy member
8. Liu Daqun People's Republic of China member
7. Mehmet Güney Turkey member
11. Carmel Agius Malta member
9. Andrésia Vaz Senegal member

Office of the Prosecutor

The Office of the Prosecutor is divided into two Sections:

  • The Investigation Section is responsible for collecting evidence implicating individuals in crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994.
  • The Prosecution Section is responsible for prosecuting all cases before the Tribunal.

Hassan Bubacar Jallow of The Gambia is the current Prosecutor of the ICTR. He has previously served as The Gambia's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice from 1984 to 1994, and subsequently as a Judge of Supreme Court of The Gambia from 1998 to 2002. He was appointed by the Security Council on September 15, 2003 to replace Carla Del Ponte.

The Registry

The Registry is responsible for the overall administration and management of the ICTR. It also performs other legal functions assigned to it by the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and is the Tribunal’s channel of communication.

The Registry is headed by the Registrar, who is the Representative of the UN Secretary-General. Adama Dieng of Senegal is the present Registrar. He took office in March, 2001.

Related legal activities

French investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière is also pursuing a case against the current President, Paul Kagame, and other members of his administration, for the assassination of his predecessor. This case is under the regular jurisdiction of the French courts because French citizens were also killed in the plane crash.

See also


  1. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 S-RES-955(1994) on 8 November 1994 (retrieved 2008-07-23)
  2. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 977 S-RES-977(1995) on 22 February 1995 (retrieved 2008-07-23)
  3. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 1165 S-RES-1165(1998) on 30 April 1998 (retrieved 2008-07-23)
  4. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 1824 S-RES-1824(2008) page 1 on 18 July 2008 (retrieved 2008-07-23)
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2] Reuters (July 29, 2008)
  7. ^ United Nations General Assembly Document 315 session 54 Fourth Annual Report of ICTR page 6 on 7 September 1999
  8. ^ Quoted in citation for honorary doctorate, Rhodes University, April 2005 accessed at [3] March 23, 2007

External links

Coordinates: 3°22′04″S 36°41′47″E / 3.3677°S 36.6965°E / -3.3677; 36.6965

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