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Performative functions of genocide trials in Rwanda: Reconciliation through restorative justice?

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Abstract:

This article explores the various legal responses to the genocide in Rwanda through the lenses of trauma, memory and performance, and addresses the question of whether trials as performance and methods of legal recourse including international courts, national prosecutions and traditionally adapted mechanisms of transitional justice such as the gacaca courts are effective in reconciling trauma and establishing collective memory. This piece argues that of the available methods of legal redress in post-genocide Rwanda, the gacaca courts are most effective in performing the function of reconciling trauma and establishing collective memory.

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