The contribution of the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda to the development of international humanitarian law
This dissertation investigates the contribution of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to the development of International Humanitarian Law (lHL). The study establishes that internal armed conflicts are now the leading form of organized violence yet norms governing them are underdeveloped. It notes that the ICTR is the first international criminal tribunal with the mandate to adjudicate violations of humanitarian law committed in a non-international armed conflict. By analyzing a number of cases in which the accused were charged with war crimes, the study examines the important issues of IHL that arose from these cases. On the basis of this examination, the study finds out that the jurisprudence of the ICTR has enlarged the frontiers of the law of war in the following areas; individual criminal responsibility for violations of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II, establishment of international criminal responsibility for war crimes committed in an internal armed conflict, class of perpetrators, command responsibility, the nexus between the crime and the armed conflict and the class of victims, that is, the question of whether civilians can be convicted for serious violations of article 3 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. Despite these contributions, criticisms leveled against the tribunal in this regard include the inconsistency in the jurisprudence of the lCTR on the requirement of a direct link between the alleged crime and the armed conflict, how rape constitutes a war crime and the characterization of the conflict in Rwanda as internal. Nevertheless, the study concludes that the lCTR has provided for the consolidation of humanitarian law violations committed in internal armed conflicts in the international legal order.
CitationThis dissertation is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of master of arts in international studies, at the institute of diplomacy and international studies, University of Nairobi
Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies